Curried Mashed Carrots and Cashews
From The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation
Moderately spicy from the ginger, and just the right degree of rich from the cashews, this mash is a definite mood booster. My kind of Code Orange. You can eat it plain for lunch, layered underneath the rest of your dinner, or simply as a bolstering afternoon snack, reheated in a microwave.
• The sweeter the carrots, the better this will taste.
• Stock option: If you put a few slices of ginger, some onion, and a clove or two of garlic into the carrot cooking water, you’ll end up with a lovely broth. You can heat it and serve it straight, as a very light appetizer or a nourishing snack— or add it to any soup you might deem compatible. You can also use it to thin this mash into a soup.
* You can do step 2 while the carrots simmer.
• This will keep for 4-5 days in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. It also freezes beautifully, and reheats well —covered, in a 250°F oven, or in a microwave.
2 pounds carrots
2 tablespoons oil (I used half olive oil and half grapeseed)
1 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
Up to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
½ cup lightly toasted cashews
Up to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon light-colored honey (optional, to taste – depends on the carrots)
Peel the carrots and cut them into 1-inch chunks, then place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a reasonable simmer, and cook until the carrots become fork-tender (about 8 to 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, place a medium sized (9-inch) skillet over medium heat and wait about a minute, then add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onion, and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add the ginger, and sauté for another couple of minutes, then sprinkle in the curry powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for another minute or so, then reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook, stirring often for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until everything is very soft. (You can add up to a few tablespoons of the carrot cooking water to the mix, to augment the process.
Drain the carrots in a strainer or colander over a bowl in the sink, saving the water. Transfer the carrots (fine if still hot or warm; just be careful) to a food processor, along with the onion mixture, scraping in every last drop of flavor—plus any and all liquid—from the pan. Also add the cashews.
Purée to your desired consistency, adding a tablespoon or two (or three) of the cooking water, as needed, to move things along, and to keep it spoon-soft.
Transfer to a bowl, and season to taste with lemon juice and a little more salt, if and as desired—and adding a touch of honey, if you’d like it sweeter. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Two serving suggestions:
- Heap onto toast and top with a few shelled, lightly steamed edamame or fava beans.
-Spread as a bed under your favorite pilaf, and maybe add some beans. Pile on some thickly sliced sautéed mushrooms.