Root vegetables like carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, beets and onions are staples in the South, but lots of people associate them with fall and the harvest table. Here at Zephyr Hill, we love them year-round!
The Harvester truck came today and we were given 3 bags of carrots and 4 packs of blueberries (among other things). So I promptly made a huge blueberry cobbler and then got to work on the carrots. The recipe I am sharing below is very similar to one you’ll find often on Southern tables with names like “Carrot Coin Casserole” or “Baked Vegetables.”
The delicate cream sauce (with a hint of nutmeg) and toasted topping are perfect compliments to the sweet, fresh taste of the carrots. This is a great side dish any time of year and pairs well with grilled meat, baked ham or pork and good ole fried chicken.
CARROT CASSEROLE WITH CRUMB TOPPING
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 white onion, sliced thinly
1/2 frozen peas or mixed veggies
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
4 T butter, divided
1 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs or 1/2 can French’s fried onions
Put 1 inch of water in a sauce pan, add carrots and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes. Add onion. Return to a boil. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain and add frozen peas.
Lightly spray a 9×9 baking dish with oil and spread half of the vegetables on the bottom. Cover with cheese and then pour remaining vegetables on top.
In same saucepan, melt 3 T butter and then add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir and cook until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk and cook until thick and bubbly and smooth. Pour over vegetables.
Toast the bread crumbs in remaining 1 T of butter and sprinkle over casserole (or just sprinkle untoasted fried onions). Bake uncovered at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
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