One really easy way to cook carrots is to boil them. All you need to makeboiled carrots is a cooking pot and some water, and you're ready to cook!
Cooking carrots by boiling might like it's kind of boring. And while it's true that they don't have the caramelized sweetness of roasted carrots, or the crispness of sautéed carrots, boiled carrots can be very delicious if you know how to do it right.
Boiled carrots are really, really easy to make, so there's actually not a whole lot of preparation work needed. Here's what you need to do.
Like any vegetable, you need to wash the carrots to get rid of any dirt or chemicals that might still be on the surface. Just scrub them gently under lukewarm water, being sure to get all the dirt out.
A lot of the carrot's flavor and nutrients is near its surface. So often it's better just not to peel the carrot, and just wash it thoroughly – you get much more flavorful carrots than way. But if you need to peel the carrot, use a vegetable peeler and be sure to only peel off a single layer.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you're cutting up your carrots for boiling.
It's all about balancing flavor, time, and how crisp you like your vegetables. If you like slightly crisp vegetables, they won't take as long to cook, and so even cutting them up in small chunks won't mean too much flavor and nutrient loss. But if you like soft veggies, you might get better results boiling whole carrots. And if you prefer small pieces of carrot? Don't forget that you can always cut the carrot into smaller pieces after it's done!
Of course, if you're short on time, even cutting the carrots in half can make a huge difference in how much time it takes to cook.
Once the carrots are washed, trimmed, and cut the way you like them, you're ready to boil them. It's not hard at all.
Here's what you do.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Use as little water as possible. You want your vegetables to be barely covered when you add them, to minimize nutrient loss.
If you want, salt the water. About half a teaspoon per liter of water is plenty.
Salting the water raises its boiling point, making it boil hotter, so that your carrots cook faster. And the slightly salty water will also flavor the carrots. Of course, if you're trying to cut back on salt, it's not necessary – just convenient and tasty!
Add the carrots to the water.
Cook, covered, until the carrots are as done as you like them. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour depending on how you cut them and how cooked you like them.
Try testing them with a fork. The fork should slide in easily enough.
Drain, season and serve. Cut them into smaller pieces if needed.
You can serve them as is, or with a bit of butter, salt, or other herbs and spices.
There's really not a whole lot to making boiled carrots. The key is really to know how you like them. If you like them crisp, take them out when they're crisp! But if you like them very soft, don't be afraid to leave them in a bit longer. Just test them regularly, and take them out when they're just perfect for you.