Market Matters- Mommy Approved Thanksgiving Carrots with Ginger, Tangerine & Chives

Carrots with Ginger: Today I am getting both a late start and an early start. I got a late start at the Hollywood Farmers Market. We had rain all night and early this morning and I almost skipped the market entirely. Then about 11 am, the sun broke out and the day was delightfully sunny, yet crisp and cool. Perfect autumnal market weather if you ask me.

I am also getting an early start on Thanksgiving. Because carrots are one of those side dishes that must make an appearance on my holiday plate. So I knew that I’d be coming home with a bushel.

Now carrots are a year ’round item at the Hollywood Farmers Market. But this time of year particularly beautiful carrots can be found in an array of colors, sizes, and shapes. I love the little round French carrots; so sweet and carroty. They are the perfect size to pop in your mouth like a little carrot bon-bon, and that’s exactly what I usually do with them. So they do not seem quite right for Turkey Day. I need something with a bit more preparation. After all, I have friends and family I want to show off in front of. Because at my house I’m the biggest turkey at the table!


gingerThen I spied bunches and heaps of the most unusually colored carrots you could imagine. These carrots came in red, yellow, white, and even two-toned varieties. I could certainly do some showing off with Technicolor carrots. But just in case you didn’t know, let me assure you that you needn’t be frightened of these colorful carrots. They are not some mutinized hybrid with a lot of genetic hanky-panky going on. Nope, most of these carrots are heirlooms.

Still, as much as the color appealed to me. It is Thanksgiving. So I felt the need for something a bit more traditional. Because purple carrots may catch the eye. But they are not like the carrots my mommy used to make on Thanksgiving. Nope, my mommy served orange carrots and on Thanksgiving, so nothing else will do. I wanted (no required) orange carrots.

My mother tended to make Thanksgiving carrots that were a bit sweeter than “rest of the year” carrots. She called them candied. She used orange juice and powdered ginger. And she probably braised them on the stove. Which is one way to go.

Carrots with Ginger

But my Thanksgiving carrots are going to be more of an homage to my mother’s “special day” carrots. I am going to go with similar flavors, and they will be slightly sweet like hers. But “candied” is a bit too retro for my modern palate. So I am choosing to steam whole carrots. I can do this ahead of time. Then I will quickly saute them at serving time with a bit of tangerine zest, fresh ginger and plenty of chives.

I think my mommy would approve.

carrots with ginger and chivesCarrots with with Ginger, Tangerine Zest & Chives

serves 6 CLICK here for a printable recipe


  • 2 lb small carrots, peeled
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tangerines, zested
  • 2 T chives, minced
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T fresh tangerine juice
  • 1⁄2 t kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 t white pepper

Place the carrots in a covered steamer set over simmering water. Cook until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside up to 4 hours ahead.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and stir until fragrant. Stir in the zest, then add the carrots, tossing to coat. Add the chives, butter, tangerine juice, salt and white pepper. Toss again to coat well. Serve warm.


Greg Henry

Sippity Sup

Carrots with Ginger