Something Different with Carrots


There must be someone who doesn’t like carrots but I don’t know who they are. Particularly beloved of children, even vegetable-dubious ones, carrots seem like a low-risk vegetable for any occasion.  Perfectly good raw for dipping, simply steamed, roasted in the oven, grated into salad, carrots are really flexible. Still, it is fun to have another way to cook carrots. This fritter recipe, another one from Ruth Thurston’s vast collection neatly filed in Machias, is a little more effortful and is really tasty. I no longer remember why Ruth sent this along and it has been sitting in my Recipes to Try folder for quite some time.

This time of year, though, I am susceptible to recipes for winter squashes and root vegetables because even though I keep them cold and in the dark, they know the days are getting longer, and they set out sprouts and little hairy roots. I dug into my winter-stored supply of carrots, the variety called Bolero, some sporting little ferny yellow-green leaves. Bolero has done well for me over the years; it’s productive and stores well. I grated them up by hand, mixed with our own eggs, helped along by a dab of flour, a dash of cumin, a sprinkle of sugar, and good old salt and pepper. I dropped each fritter onto a sauté pan with a generous amount of melted butter in it.

Sometimes, I can pass off a dish like this as a main dish for supper if there is a robust salad alongside, one with grain like rice or pasta, and a loaf of French bread. Otherwise, keep the menu simple, something like braised-ahead chicken or beef, that can sit around staying hot while you fiddle with the fritters. As you finish them, put them on parchment-paper-lined baking pan and keep them warm in a low oven until they are all cooked and you are ready to serve.

Carrot Fritters
Serves: 4-6 people
  • 5 cups grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Dash of cumin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup butter
  1. Toss the carrots, salt, sugar, flour, and cumin together until they are well mixed.
  2. Add the eggs and mix well.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy pan, and drop spoons full of carrot mixture into the butter, flatten slightly.
  4. Cook for about three or four minutes over a medium heat or until the fritter is lightly browned then flip over and repeat.
  5. Keep warm in a low oven (about 150 degrees) until time to serve.



Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.