Our local farmers market in Santa Barbara always offers a great variety of the seasons best produce. I liked this very abundant display of carrots from Roots Farm. My mind starts spinning at all the possible ways to use carrots. Obvious are carrot soup, butter braised carrots, carrot salad etc. My chef-friend Michael Richard has a great section in his book Happy in the Kitchen devoted to non-tradition carrot recipes.
Blooming Carrots are one example where they are thinly sliced, rolled in cornstarch and deep fried until crunchy. Or carrots braised in butter and orange juice, topped with dried orange zest powder and served with a puree of carrot tops. There is also a recipe for Caramelized Carrot Risotto that uses potatoes instead of rice and a lightly thicken chicken stock for the creamy texture. One of my favorites is a savory carrot flan. Serve it with a few crispy, deep fried carrot rounds and a carrot top coulis!