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Go big on carrots; the fresh whole ones with tops still attached
Desperation Dinners
By Beverly Mills with Alicia Ross | Columnists
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Published: 9/15/2010 12:00 AM

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When's the last time you bought a "real" carrot? Once they started coming in miniature - adult carrots whittled down to look like babies - our kids never saw carrots any other way. The kids ate them raw by the fistfuls, and the idea of actually peeling a carrot and eating it as anything except a snack was out of the question.

Now that our kids are away at college, we've found ourselves ready to explore "real" carrots again. You can buy carrots whole in plastic bags, but the ones we see usually look tired. So we've started buying them in bunches with the green tops still attached. This ensures a fresher veggie that's still packed with flavor.

The next step in our carrot evolution was to eat them cooked - as a side dish - after years of raw only. Cooked carrots are easy, delicious and equally perfect with chicken, pork or fish. Today's recipe for Gingered Carrots is a simple saute with minced ginger, but you could use garlic, onions and other herbs to taste.

Next time you're at the store, check the produce section for "real" carrots and rediscover a classic.

Suggested menu: Gingered Carrots with purchased rotisserie chicken and rice pilaf.

• Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross write "Desperation Dinners!" Write them at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or tellus@kitchenscoop.com. More at the Desperation Dinners website, kitchenscoop.com.