One of my favorite things to do when I have a little extra time on my weekends either at home or on the road is to open my ears  to the divine musings of Lynne Rosetto Kasper of The Splendid Table.

Her fantastical ideas of creativity and magic in the kitchen are genius.

She is a culinary encyclopedia.  An exquisite encyclopedia at that.

After months of listening to her absolutely recognizable voice over the air waves, my richly active imagination had formed the perfect portrait of this woman speaking to the world from her kitchen studio.
One day, I finally took to my reliance on my “always in my pocket” Google search, and found her website and photo.
Precisely as I’d formed in my mind.

Her voice and her photo characteristics coincided exactly.  I so love synchronicity.

Thus, to the carrots and coffee.  On a fairly recent episode of The Splendid Table, listening on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I heard the notion of such a combination:

It appeared mysteriously spartan on the menu at Coi, Daniel Patterson’s ashram for food in San Francisco’s North Beach: “Carrots/Coffee.” What did it mean? It turned out to be genius–sweet, smoky, and earthy genius. Pencil-thin carrots are baked on a bed of coffee beans that warm gently, releasing their oils. This unexpected dish celebrates all the advantages of slow cooking: the coffee fumes gradually infuse the vegetables, creating an ephemeral sensation of something roasted that one can identify as “coffee” only after the tongue whispers to the brain.

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I simply had to try this for myself.

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Slow Baked Carrots on Coffee Beans

1 lb. organic rainbow carrots
2 Tbs. Kerrygold Irish butter, melted (go for 3 Tbs., it’s even better.  I promise)
Coarsely ground sea salt
1 c. coffee beans

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat to heat for about 5 minutes.
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In a large bowl, combine the carrots and melted butter and toss until the carrots are slicked with the glorious gold and the moisture is distributed evenly. Season with salt and set aside.
Add the coffee beans to the hot skillet and remove from heat. Shake until the coffee is aromatic and the beans look a bit oily, about 3 minutes. Scatter the carrots over the beans in a single layer and cover the skillet with a lid or a sheet of heavy-duty alumi¬num foil. Bake until the carrots are fork-tender and infused with coffee oil, 2 to 3 hours. 
Lift the carrots from the bed of coffee beans and serve immediately. Discard the coffee.
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Lynne is absolutely right.  The sweet, smoky earthiness of the carrots and coffee together is truly genius.

9 thoughts on “Carrots and Coffee

  1. What a great idea. I wish I could get those nice multi-colored carrots you use but I have some plain old ones i can try this with 🙂

    1. The rainbow carrots are definitely a seasonal treat – and TREAT they are! You may find some white carrots, at least, around this time of year, to couple with the bright orange carrots. It may be a wonderfully fantastic burst of sweetness to mix things up with parsnips and carrots – that will give you a two dimensional color presentation. Good luck! Let me know if you try it out.

    1. The coffee flavor was extremely subtle. In fact, there was really no coffee “flavor” at all, rather a delightful earthiness, accompanied by the sweetness of the carrots and the deliciously creamy caramelization of the Kerrygold! I actually drizzled additional Kerrygold atop my serving, only to make it all the better!

      On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Craving4More

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