Carrots are one of our favorite vegetables. They are not generally considered an elegant vegetable, but in this dish, rich with flavor, they couldn’t be classier. It’s also super simple and quick. We serve it almost every week, and if there are any leftovers, the kids arm wrestle for them at breakfast. See how savory herbs rejuvenate the humble carrot; this is an absolute favorite among recipe testers!–Matthew McCarry and Stacy Toth
LC You Say Purée, We Say Mash Note
There’s something about saying “carrot mash” that we really like. Maybe it’s the monosyllabic simpleness that “mash” connotes. Or the quasi uppitiness that “purée” almost demands with its fussy French accent. We’re not really certain why we like to call this a mash. But we do. You, of course, may call it a purée if you prefer. Either way, whatever you deem it, the result is unlike any cooked carrot you’ve ever had. We guarantee it. Oh, and did we mention? It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and paleo-friendly. These negatives collide in the loveliest of ways to make something we swear you’ll consider to be a positive.
Rosemary Carrot Purée
- 6 medium carrots ends removed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves or to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Steam or boil the carrots until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and transfer them to a food processor or bowl for mashing. Pulse 5 times for 2 seconds each or mash the carrots with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Ideally you want a still fairly chunky consistency.
- Add the lard, coconut milk, rosemary, thyme, salt, and black pepper and pulse or mash until all ingredients are combined thoroughly, all the lard has melted and been incorporated, and the consistency pleases you. Serve warm.
In Advance AdviceSteam or boil the carrots early in the day and let them rest at room temperature for up to several hours. Measure and mince the remaining ingredients and set them aside, too. Minutes before you’re ready to sit down to dinner, reheat the carrots by dunking them in boiling water for a minute or so and then proceed with the recipe.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Do you like carrots? Yes? Then you will love this recipe. Don’t like carrots? Well, you will love it, too! Yes! This recipe has it all—color, texture, taste, aroma, and, oh yes, you’ll be able to read in the dark after you eat it. Honest. (Isn’t that what your Nanna told YOU would happen if you ate your carrots?) Not only is it fun to steam carrots and then just smash them up a bit, it’s also fun to to throw in all kinds of wacky things like coconut milk and (gasp out loud) LARD. Once you get over that and see how great the carrots look, toss in that thyme and rosemary and you’ll be certain that someone has just brought the fir tree for Christmas in the house. I used a full tablespoon rosemary, and next time I make these, I will use a little less. My rosemary plant has a really strong scent and taste. If I didn’t like rosemary, I might not have liked this so much. But I do, and I did.
I looked over the list of ingredients for this recipe and thought WHAT? I get the rosemary, salt, and pepper, but lard and coconut milk? I was fully prepared to dislike this. I admit I was wrong. I really liked it. And my family loved it. My husband said he could eat it like ice cream just on it’s own. While that reaction may be a bit extreme, this will be a feature at my holiday table this year and whenever I need a quick side dish for dinner. I steamed my carrots so I wouldn’t lose any of that lovely carrot flavor. My carrots were more of a medium size, so I used 10 to make a pound. I used a potato masher to keep the finished dish a little more rustic. I thought I had chopped the rosemary finely enough, but there were a few larger bits in the finished mash. So the only recommendation I would make is to ensure your fresh rosemary is chopped extremely fine. Other than that this is one of the quickest and tastiest side dishes I’ve ever made.
If there’s a way to fix carrots and have them be a totally new experience, this is it. The flavor combination is very unique. The herbs add a fresh flavor while the lard and coconut milk add richness. I didn’t use the food processor, preferring to mash them by hand with a potato masher, which took about 5 minutes (it does take a bit more work to do it by hand). The resulting mash was chunky but with a creamy texture throughout. Taste the mash with half the required amount of herbs before adding the other half, as the fresh herbs can dominate the flavor of the entire mash.
Coconut milk AND lard, how much better can it get? Bacon, maybe? But otherwise these are probably the best carrots I have ever made. (I’ve made a similar dish with kabocha but that dish didn’t include lard.) The lard definitely makes a smooth puree. I suggest peeling a 1-pound bag of carrots (I used 9 carrots to get 1 pound). Otherwise, follow the directions and enjoy. Oh, and by the way, don’t plan to have any leftovers for breakfast unless you are eating alone. And even then it’s a maybe…
I agree with this recipe’s author–carrots are also one of my favorite vegetables because of their versatility and affordability. I liked this recipe a lot. I’ve made many a carrot mash, but I like the rich, creamy taste and texture that the coconut milk gave this version. That slight Thai flavoring, in addition to the fresh herbs, is a very unique combination. The recipe suggests using lard, but I used a bit of coconut oil instead seeing that coconut milk was already in the mix. Overall, this was a very nice carrot mash that I will certainly be making again!
I generally prefer my carrots straight up, but I’d be willing to sacrifice some crunch for the novelty of this recipe every now and then. Better yet, I can ignore my occasional guilt at letting my carrots idle for too long in the fridge, as even carrots with less spring in their step work here. I wouldn’t have thought to mix either coconut milk or lard into a carrot purée, but they lend a creaminess to the dish without overwhelming the carrot taste or detracting from the freshness of the vegetables and rather pronounced flavor of the herbs. Think carrot soup, in solid form. This is classy but not overly rich. I’d imagine that both those who are already carrot devotées as well as those who are anti-carrot would find this recipe appealing, and perhaps even vegetable-reluctant little ones, given the inherent sweetness of the dish. It’s always refreshing to reinvent a familiar taste successfully, particularly if you can do it with ease and with readily available and mostly local ingredients. And without bastardizing the main ingredient. I now have a template for a simple vegetable purée, as you should be able to use winter squash and most other produce interchangeably here. I added a couple more tablespoons coconut milk and a tad more salt for personal preference. The only part of the recipe I found to be inaccurate was the yield; I’d say 3 healthy servings tops, not 4.
This is certainly a different take on carrots. We do mash carrots from time to time, but I’ve never used rosemary, coconut milk, or lard. We tried it this way and liked the flavors. My only quibble is that you have to buy a pound of lard and a can of coconut milk for a very small amount of each used.
I had lots of carrots in the refrigerator that I got at the farmers market and I wanted to try something different with them. I have to admit, I was a tad bit skeptical about cooking with lard; however, once I made this recipe, I got over that. (I did a little research on lard, and found out that a little lard in your diet is actually good for you, as it helps you bind calcium in your body to help prevent osteoporosis.) This Rosemary Carrot Purée was a very nice change of pace. Very easy and quick to make, and the beautiful bright orange with the green chopped herbs made a nice addition on the dinner plate. Loved the sweet carrot flavor along with the fresh herbs. The creamy, nutty coconut milk and the lard helped make the consistency as well as the flavor of the mashed carrots just perfect. Will definitely make this again. After I mashed the carrots in the food processor, it looked like there would not be enough for 4 people. But when I added to serving bowl and served on plates for 5 people there was plenty for each serving and enough for one more.
Why didn’t I ever think of preparing carrots this way before? This was super easy yet extremely rich and flavorful. I have to admit, I used butter instead of lard because I didn’t have any lard on hand and it’s hard to beat the flavor of a rich European-style butter with carrots. Fresh rosemary and thyme are essential here—don’t be tempted to substitute dried since you really aren’t cooking the herbs, so the flavor and texture just won’t be right. The recipe as written really wouldn’t serve more than 4 people in my mind. It’s quite rich and would pair nicely with a wide variety of proteins and green vegetables.
Originally published November 19, 2013