Christmas Carrot Wreath
You’ll be tempted to sing “Deck the Halls” when this golden wreath comes to the table. Baked in a ring mold, this carrot dish makes a unique accompaniment to any entree. It’s deliciously moist, delicately sweet, and has a texture reminiscent of a light, airy muffin. Prepare it in advance and reheat it briefly by covering it with aluminum foil, and tucking it into a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Contributed by Zel Allen from her new book Vegan for the Holidays.
- 3/4 pound carrots (about 3 large), peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup vanilla or plain soymilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or distilled vinegar
- 1/3 cup organic canola oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch parsley, cilantro, or mint
- 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly oil a 4-cup metal ring mold. Set aside.
Put the carrots in a covered 2-quart saucepan with enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, immediately decrease the heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.
Meanwhile, combine the soymilk and vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Stir in the oil, lemon juice, and almond extract; set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, drain the carrots thoroughly and transfer them to a bowl. Mash them well with a fork or potato masher. Measure 1 cup of the mashed carrots and set aside. Use the remaining carrots for another recipe.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
Add the mashed carrots and wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spoon the carrot batter into the prepared mold and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Invert the mold onto a serving platter.
To garnish, form a wreath of green herbs around the perimeter of the serving platter, if desired. Sprinkle with the diced red bell pepper and sliced almonds. Cut into portions and serve.
Note: The ring mold I use is an old-fashioned aluminum jello mold made to look like copper. An angel-food cake pan might work, but it’s best to use a shallow metal mold for ease in unmolding the wreath.
Visit Zel Allen at Vegetarians in Paradise.
- Here are more recipes for making the most of carrots.
- Return to A Colorful Vegan Christmas for a complete listing of holiday dinner recipes, menus, and desserts.