Purées have long eluded me, having only spent much time whirring up food when I was the nanny for a bébé in Paris. However, the more closely I pay attention to high-end food, whether it be in restaurants, books, or on TV shows, the more I see creative uses of purées. Besides, it’s an easy way to plate something, incorporate veggies and color, and play with flavors without overcomplicating textures.
I started with a carrot purée, having an ungodly amount of baby carrots in our fridge (“I’ll eat these everyday with hummus! Def!”), never otherwise being used. I was simply shocked at how good the purée was, despite its simplicity. A few tricks enhanced the savory flavor, while drawing out the natural sweetness of the carrots. The color itself was remarkable and bright and would look excellent under pale meats, like chicken or fish.
I didn’t exactly measure out the carrots, just eyeballed about what I would eat and doubled that.
– 2 servings carrots (about 1 cup each), in small pieces
– 2 cloves garlic, smashed
– about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon butter
– half and half
– pinch sugar
– salt to taste
Place the carrots and garlic in a saucepan and cover with about 1″ water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Drain the carrots (keep the garlic) and put in a food processor. Add a pinch of sugar and the butter, let soften or melt with the heat of the carrots. Add half and half, about 2 tablespoons to start with. Process until very smooth, about 1 minute.
Add salt to taste and more half and half, if you like.
You can add chopped dill for a little extra flavor, but I love the rich, creamy sweetness of the carrots as is.7