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Carrots in Verjuice

Carrots in verjuice

Carrots in verjuice

Verjuice is the fermented juice of unripe grapes. It’s use as an acidulate in cooking dates back to the Middle Ages.

It was a serendipitous cool season that left a crop of unripened riesling grape in Maggie Beer’s winter garden 20 years ago. The outcome was an experiment that resulted in the commercial availability of verjuice in Australia. Wikipedia tells us Beer was the first in the world to market the condiment commercially and five years ago export of Maggie Beer Verjuice began to France.

Maggie Beer was at the forefront in the Australian food revolution that saw drab plain English fare replaced with the wonderful multicultural cuisine we enjoy today. Maggie needs no introduction to Australian’s as she’s considered a National Treasure not only for her fabulous food writing and range of high quality grocery lines, but also for her warm and generous persona as a TV Cook. It was ABC TVs “The Cook and the Chef” that cemented her general popularity and now she appears regularly on Australian Masterchef and is co host on the “The Great Australian Bake-Off.  If you check out @Maggie_Beer on Instagram you will also know she’s a fashion leader for women of a certain age. She’s established a style I admire, a long way from the practical female farmer look of her Pheasant Farm days. More importantly though, Maggie, through her foundation is currently campaigning to improve the quality of food served to the elderly in care.

Verjuice has a gentle acidity that adds a fresh, bright and complementary quality to the flavour of food. It doesn’t jar the palate like vinegar and lemon juice can, and because verjuice is made from grapes, it’s flavour profile makes it a compatible wine condiment. 

I have many of Maggie Beer’s cookbooks on my shelves. “Maggie’s Kitchen” from 2008 yielded this beautiful recipe that added a lively sweet vegetable dish to my “bar menu.”  I adapted the recipe quantities slightly to suit my palate but aside from omission of goat cheese, the rest remains as written.  

These carrots were the perfect foil for the slightly salted feta cheese baked in vine leaves.

Carrots in Verjuice.

1/4 cup dried currants

1/3 cup verjuice

2 bunches baby carrots, tops trimmed to 2 cm

1/4 cup pine nuts

50g butter

2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the currants into a small bowl. 

Pour over the verjuice, then set aside until the currants are plump.

Cook the carrots in boiling salted water until almost done, about 5 mins.

Drain the carrots then rub off the skins in a clean tea towel.

Set the carrots aside to cool a little.

Depending on the carrots you can choose to halve them lengthwise.

Drain the currants and reserve the verjuice.

Toast the pine nuts in a large dry pan over a medium heat until golden. Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan then when melted add the carrots and increase the heat to high.

Cook the carrots for 2-3 minutes in the butter then add the verjuice.

Cook until reduced and syrupy and the carrots are glazed.

Remove from the heat, add the salt and a good grinding of pepper, the pine nuts, currants and parsley.

Toss to combine then transfer to a serving plate.

Serve immediately

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

21 comments on “Carrots in Verjuice

  1. Pingback: Grapes and Apricots – SkyeEnt

  2. Sherry
    January 26, 2019

    yum sounds delicious. gotta love maggie beer! i have been enjoying watching the re-runs of her show on abc lately. she and simon were such a great pair. cheers sherry

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      January 28, 2019

      I loved the Cook & Chef series too, didn’t know it was on repeat…

      Like

      • Sherry
        January 29, 2019

        yep twice a day!

        Like

  3. StefanGourmet
    January 21, 2019

    This looks great and I love the balance of flavors.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      January 21, 2019

      It’s up there in my top 3 carrot dishes of all time, and you’re right, the flavour balance is spot on

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Francesca
    January 19, 2019

    Verjuice is a such a great condiment and used with flair in this recipe.Must try.

    Like

  5. Linda Duffin
    January 18, 2019

    What a delicious idea! Another one to bookmark, thanks for sharing, Sandra.

    Like

  6. Single Malt Monkey
    January 17, 2019

    This sounds great. I find carrots so dull. This is going into our dinner repertoire
    asap…with goats cheese too. Must soon be my turn to cook. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      January 18, 2019

      You’ll never think carrots are dull ever again Al after you’ve tried them cooked in verjuice.

      Like

  7. chef mimi
    January 17, 2019

    Fabulous!!!! Love love love this recipe.

    Like

  8. Megala
    January 17, 2019

    Wow! This looks divine!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      January 17, 2019

      Thanks Megala, I made it again last night without the dried fruit and nuts and it was equally as delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Megala
        January 17, 2019

        Oh, great! I think verjuice is the star ingredient in here. It is nice to find you cooking carrots on the stove than inside the oven.

        Like

  9. Eha
    January 17, 2019

    Sandra – thank you a million times over for the recipe but, most of all, for introducing; Maggie Beer to those who may not know! How any Australian would not is totally beyond my comprehension !! Have followed her forever, buy from her wonderful store on-line every few months, remember her prior TV days with huge fondness . . . but of all the matters I have taken up in the past decade, am most proud of being a member of her Foundation from day dot !! Hah ! Verjuice ? How the hell does one cook without it 🙂 ?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      January 17, 2019

      No idea what I’d do without verjuice in the kitchen. Yes, Maggie Beer is certainly an inspiration. Unfortunately my Dad spent his last years in Nursing Home that served food that was an absolute insult. It placed huge and unnessecary pressure on the whole family to visit daily and deliver meals.

      Like

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