Versatile and inexpensive, carrots are one of my go-to kitchen staples. They keep well and taste great raw or cooked; you can juice them, blend them into a soup, roast, grill, or sauté them, and even make them into a dessert. But while carrots of some kind or another are available year-round, fresh spring carrots are especially worth seeking out. From bright, crunchy salads to sweet, slow-cooked sides, we've got 15 recipes to make the most of the season.
Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip
Sweet, tender caramelized carrots are puréed with warm spices like cumin, coriander, and harissa. Garlic, ginger, capers, and olives add a bold, briny punch. You're left with a bright sauce that's perfect served with warm flatbread for dipping or simply drizzled on your favorite snack.
Grated Carrot and Mint Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Carrots are coarsely grated in a food processor and tossed with fresh mint, currants and a lightly sweetened lemon vinaigrette. It's a refreshing salad that satisfies simply paired with a hunk of bread or as a side dish.
Orange-glazed Carrots with Ramp Barley and Spinach
This vegetarian dish combines tender, nutty barley, fresh ramps, and spinach. The simple but flavorful mix is topped with tender, buttery carrots, glazed in tart-sweet orange juice. It's topped off with a sprinkle of parsley and nutty toasted almonds.
Roasted Squash and Raw Carrot Soup
The deep roasted flavor of butternut squash meets the bright crispness of fresh carrot juice in this sweet, vibrant soup. It all comes together in a blender, and is finished off with a stream of good olive oil.
Roasted Carrot Salad With Peanut-Sesame Mole
Having a dinner party? This nutty, caramelized salad makes an attractive and crowd-pleasing starter. All of the components can be made in advance, and it's vegan to boot.
Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing
A slaw that is every bit as delicious as it is healthful. Crunchy shredded cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, and shelled edamame are tossed with a flavorful dressing of soy sauce, honey, and peanut butter.
Gingery Glazed Carrots
To make full-proof glazed carrots at home, add a little thickener like cornstarch at the end. This recipe cooks in savory chicken broth with fresh ginger and thyme, completed with a squeeze of tart lemon juice.
Sous-Vide Glazed Carrots
For better glazed carrots, turn to your sous-vide. They'll come out perfectly tender after an hour of cooking; then they're just quickly caramelized in a hot pan.
Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash
Make some room on your stovetop by preparing this colorful mash in a slow cooker. Cooking the potatoes and carrots low and slow in milk and heavy cream gently coaxes out a candied flavor.
Easy Make-Ahead Carrot and Chickpea Salad With Dill and Pumpkin Seeds
Chickpeas and shredded carrots make a healthy but satisfying salad that's great for lunch the next day. Dried beans cooked with aromatics are best, but canned chickpeas work well in a pinch. The salad is topped with a vinaigrette full of fresh dill and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds.
Spicy Carrot and Ginger Soup With Harissa
A simply made but complex-tasting carrot soup with leeks, garlic, and a kick from harissa and fresh ginger. Harissa is a North African pepper paste, and can be found in specialty grocers or ordered online.
Carrot and Rye Berry Salad with Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds
This salad's all about the textural contrast, with chewy rye, crunchy celery and almonds, and tender-cooked carrots. It's served in a mustard- and garlic-spiked olive oil vinaigrette. Oh, and yes, it just so happens it's vegan.
Charred, Oven-Roasted Carrot Salad With Feta Cheese
Oven-roasted carrots get their caramelized sweetness from honey, balanced by a bright dose of vinegar and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. It's tossed with feta for a refreshing sweet and tangy vegetable dish.
Carrot Cake Cookies
The next time you can't decide on dessert, you can have your cake and cookies, too. It's everything you want from carrot cake—spices, raisins and walnuts—but in convenient cookie form.
Raw Carrot Cake "Muffins"
These "muffins" aren't baked, but somehow carrots, walnuts, dates, raisins, and spices come together to form a morning treat that tastes shockingly like the real thing. Be sure to get as much liquid out of the grated carrots as possible before adding everything to the food processor.