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Colored Carrot "Fettuccini" with Tarragon Pesto
  • Colored Carrots include Red Carrots, Yellow Carrots, White Carrots, Belgium White Carrots, Purple Carrots, Maroon Carrots
  • Origin and cultivation: original carrot was probably purple and was cultivated over 5,000 years ago
  • Availability: summer at farmers markets and some supermarkets
  • Appearance: white carrots lack pigment; purple (also called maroon) carrots get their color from anthocyanin pigments; yellow carrots get their color from xanthophylls, a carotenoid; red carrots get their color from lycopene, a carotenoid, along with the same pigments in orange carrots which are beta-carotene and alpha carotene
  • Flavor: like carrots, the colors contribute little flavor
  • Trivia: Romans used white and purple carrots. By the 14th century in Europe, a variety of colored carrots were being grown including purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Orange carrots didn't exist until the 16th century, where patriotic Dutch people bred them in honor of the royal House of Orange. Since the 1990s, because of the hype surrounding antioxidant properties of anthocyanins in purple carrots, they are being grown on a more industrial scale

4 white carrots
4 yellow carrots
4 red carrots
4 purple carrots
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of firmly packed tarragon leaves
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of pine nuts
3 tablespoons of shredded parmesan
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
Salt and pepper


Peel the carrots. Cut in half or quarters longitudinally so that the fattest side is about the thickness of a nice fettuccini noodle. Then, use a vegetable peeler to slice the carrots into ribbons. Keep each color of carrot separate because you'll cook them separately to avoid the colors bleeding together.

Make the pesto using a food processor or blender. First add the garlic clove and chop up. Then, add the tarragon leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, white vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Add about half the olive oil and pulse until blended. Continue adding olive oil until mixed thoroughly.

In a small pot bring a couple of inches of salted water to a simmer. Add the white carrot ribbons and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes until al dente. Remove with tongs, then add the yellow carrots. Then, cook the red carrots and finish with the purple carrots.

Arrange the carrot fettuccini on a plate and drizzle with the tarragon pesto.

Serves 4.

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