If you’ve got carrots in the fridge crisper drawer, and a shot of tequila ready for a toast—you’ve got dinner already started. Tequila carrots with curry tahini sauce are a welcome side dish—consider them for your holiday menus. Everyone says these are the best carrots they’ve ever tasted.
About the time the carrots are tender, the tequila has evaporated, leaving the steamed carrots with a certain “I don’t know what.” Transform the humble root, raw carrots, into flavorful, perfectly cooked carrot fingers–the magic happens with agave liquor and orange zest. Drizzle on a creamy dressing and the meek vegetable becomes even more elegant.
Booze is a great way to sell carrots. Tequila carrots are a twist on a recipe for Carrots Cooked in Vodka, from Fast Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman. The recipe headnote in my well-used copy of the cookbook reads, “This may seem strange at first glance, but carrots, like people, get a nice lift from vodka. Try it.” If there’s no tequila around, flavor your simmered carrots with vodka and a little honey, like Ms. Shulman.
For tequila carrots, use a light gold reposado, nothing fancy. This one was on sale at the liquor store. Oh what the heck—use blanco, white, or añejo, they all give carrots a nice lift. Whatever tequila you choose, just be sure the label says 100% agave. With what’s left in the bottle, you can make tequila carrots again and again, or a huge batch of margaritas.
While the carrots cook, whisk together the curry tahini sauce. That’s simply tahini, or sesame seed butter, plus fresh lime juice, maple syrup, olive oil and curry powder. There’ll be enough sauce to dress the carrots, and extra to spruce up your green salad.
- Martha Rose Shulman writes the Eat Well Column for The New York Times. She released a new cookbook in spring 2014, The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking: Templates and Lessons for Making Delicious Meatless Meals Every Day.
- Fast Vegetarian Feasts, one of Ms. Shulman’s early cookbooks, is out of print now, and you can buy it for a song on Amazon–link here.
- This recipe for Tequila Carrots with Curry Tahini Sauce takes the place of a post featuring Ms. Shulman’s Carrots Cooked in Vodka, a recipe I posted without photos back in September 2010.
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Everyone loves these carrots—in fact you might want to double the recipe. Good hot, warm or cold, they make a colorful addition to holiday buffets.
- ½ pound carrots, (about 4), peeled and cut into lengths, 3/8-inch wide by 3-inches long
- ¼ cup tequila
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of Real Salt
- Curry Tahini Sauce:
- ¼ cup toasted sesame tahini
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon purchased curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
- In a medium saucepan, put the carrots, tequila, and orange zest. Cover and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.
- While the carrots cook, whisk the tahini with the hot water. Whisk in the lime juice, maple syrup and curry powder, olive oil and salt.
- When the carrots are done, toss with the olive oil, and season with salt. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with tahini sauce and if desired, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.