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We are always looking for healthful side dishes

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Roasting vegetables with olive oil can be good, but now and then the zucchini can dry out or get tough with the oven heat. Potatoes can be boring, although my mother would never have said that--Polish people are into potatoes, I'm telling you.

The other day I made an Irish Stew with leftover lamb and fingerling potatoes that I served over Christmas--all I had to do was cook some carrots and add them in, and then make gravy. The pan drippings did that for me, providing the oil for a roux. It was one of my better leftovers. I bought the lamb from Costco in Tucson just before Christmas and roasted it Greek style, with lemon, garlic and oregano. It was very good that night and the stew came out wonderful.

Now, suppose you had some organic mixed yellow and white carrots, such as are sold at Trader Joe's in Tucson. Imagine them in this carrot souffle!



1-1/4 pounds fresh organic carrots
1 Tablespoon organic butter at room temperature
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Halve the carrots lengthwise and cut them into one-inch pieces. Place them in a pot with a steamer insert and steam them until they are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain the carrots and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Mash or rice them and then stir in the butter, honey and chili powder. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and serve hot.

I feel that a potato ricer is required for this recipe, although many people are now using immersible blenders for a dish like this. But there is one thing that carrots suffer from: they are frequently considered less classy than other vegetables. So if you can make this dish silky and delicious, by all means do it.

It would also be spiffy to bake them in ramekins, one per guest.



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