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Scarborough Fair Carrot Ribbons with Shrimp

Delicate carrot ribbons are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and topped with shrimp for a fresh, beautiful, and healthy meal. 

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Whelp, it’s that time of year again, when I go crazy and plant a million vegetables and try to keep them alive in the hundred degree summer and disease-encouraging humidity long enough to get something edible off them!

And then at some point in late summer when the cucumbers shrivel up and the squash vine borers have killed my zucchini and I can’t get my spinach to grow more than half an inch before wilting into nothingness, I might give up the whole game and be pleasantly surprised when my bell peppers, nestled among brittle leafless tomato skeletons and overgrown weeds, thrive and produce fruits well into November with no care at all. 

Not speaking from experience or anything.

So a month or two ago I decided to clean all the old dead plants from last year out of the garden so I could plant something new. It mostly involved pulling up thousands of weeds and breaking up the bone-dry sticks formerly known as tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants. But this one overgrown patch I hadn’t thought about in about six months gave me quite the surprise.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

The two squares of carrots I had planted last April were tall and leafy. Some had bolted and were sprouting flowers, and a couple even had several inches of woody looking root protruding above the soil. I really figured I had missed my opportunity to pull them up and use them, and that I probably should have pulled them up before winter if I was planning on eating them.

After all, if you leave radishes in the ground too long they get too spicy to eat, and if you leave squashes on the vine too long they grow a thick skin and become seedy. Having never grown carrots before, I figured they would certainly be woody and bitter by now.

With a little sadness and a resolution to make sure I actually used the vegetables I planted this year before they went bad, I pulled them all up so I could reuse the space.

A couple of them were massive and did look woody, as I had predicted. This giant one was hollow in places where it had split and been eaten or decomposed.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

But the ones that hadn’t bolted … well, they looked like carrots.

Big fat gnarly lumpy colorful beautiful carrots.

And a couple that were so small that I wondered if they had reseeded themselves from the couple that had bolted.

Since I wasn’t expecting anything potentially useable when I pulled them up, I didn’t have any recipes planned or space in the fridge, so I threw them in a box of soil on the front porch for a couple weeks until I could think of something. It was like storing them in a root cellar and they saved beautifully! (If you do this, cut off the leafy parts first so they’re not disrupting the moisture balance in the soil – and wait until you want to use them to wash them)

I saw this recipe for rosemary butter carrot ribbons from Do You Even Paleo and thought something similar would be perfect for my multicolored roots. Her photos are so beautiful!

I could see it now, orange, yellow, and purple ribbons all tangled up in a pasta bowl, maybe with some shrimp on top. 

So that’s exactly what I did! I saw somewhere that for overwintered carrots you have to peel off the tough exterior before you use them, but really just peeling off the skin like you would a normal carrot was sufficient. What was right underneath the surface was perfectly fine to eat. You might have a tougher exterior if you live somewhere colder, but we only got below freezing a handful of times.

Our cat, Pepper, was very curious about the carrots.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Basically what you do to make your carrot ribbons is:

  1. Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Discard the outer peels. (not necessary for younger carrots, if they’re washed well)
  2. Keep peeling the carrots.

And that’s it. While you’re on step 2, rotate the carrot as you go so you have ribbons of approximately equal width. Use steady but light pressure (pressure that’s too firm will make your peeler stick). 

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

When it becomes too hard to hold, you can lay the carrot flat on your cutting board and continue to peel, and when you get down to the very middle of the carrot, hold it and the peeler against the corner of your cutting board to get as much as possible out of it.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Continue until you have a nice big bowl of beautiful, colorful carrot ribbons. Three regular-sized carrots per person should be about right, but you can sort of eyeball it. I had a mixture of jumbo carrots and small ones and I think I used 7 total.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Sadly, the purple carrots were orange on the inside! So I only ended up with two colors of carrot ribbons instead of three. I was so disappointed. It was like that time I bought purple bell peppers at the farmer’s market and they turned green when I cooked them. Pooh.

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Once you’ve peeled them all, you’re done with the hardest part. Steam the carrot noodles (doesn’t it look like pasta?) in a steamer basket on the stove for about 5-8 minutes until they are nice and floppy and al dente when you taste one. No mushy carrots here. 

Then, melt and brown some butter in a big pan β€” you melt it on medium heat and when the foaminess subsides, it should turn a nice toasty color which adds a delightful nuttiness to the flavor, but be careful not to burn it! I threw in some finely chopped fresh rosemary and thyme (also from the garden), along with some dried sage, and cooked half a pound of peeled shrimp in the butter sauce for about a minute on each side.

 

Toss the carrot noodles into the pan to coat them in the butter sauce and reheat them, and then you’re done! I figured if I added parsley I could call them Scarborough Fair carrot ribbons, so I sprinkled some on top and called it a day.

Turns out parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme is a pretty good blend of flavors, especially with brown butter and homegrown carrots!

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

If I were to be completely accurate on how long this took to make, I’d have to say a year.

If you don’t grow your own carrots, it should only take a half an hour or so! It is so good and filling, and is a great option to cut a few carbs and eat a few more veggies. It really feels a lot like pasta and is paleo/gluten free in addition to being healthy, fresh, beautiful, and delicious. 

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

There’s nothing more gratifying than making a meal out of something you grew yourself, especially from seeds! I still can’t believe I got these giant vegetables out of those tiny seeds I planted a year ago. 

I even planted another batch of them this week. They’re supposed to be ready to pick in two and a half months (NOT a year).

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

I still have a few carrots left (mostly the smaller ones) in my makeshift root cellar/box of dirt, and I’m not sure what to do with them. It’s not enough for another full meal like this, but could make a side dish. Any ideas? 

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Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

Scarborough Fair Carrot Ribbons with Shrimp

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Caroline Lindsey

Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too!

Adapted from Do You Even Paleo.

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Ingredients

  • 6 large carrots (I used about 6 varying-sized carrots, from ginormous carrots to skinny/short carrots, since they were from my garden, but they probably equaled 6 normal large carrots)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp chopped parsley plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel any rough exteriors off your carrots. This is especially important if they are carrots that have been sitting in your garden all through the winter and they've toughened up. Discard peels so as not to confuse them with your carrot ribbons.
  2. Using your vegetable peeler, continue peeling the carrots to make long carrot ribbons. Try to go the full length of the carrot, and continue rotating the carrots as you peel so that you get ribbons of even width. Use light but consistent pressure. You can hold the carrot flat on a cutting board while you peel to make it easier as the carrot gets smaller. When you get to the center of the carrot, you can get a couple extra peels off it by holding your peeler on the carrot against the edge of your cutting board or table. Continue until you have made all your carrots into long thin ribbons. You should have about 4 cups of carrot noodles but you can just eyeball it.
  3. Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water and place a metal vegetable steamer in it. Bring to a boil, add carrots to the steamer basket, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and steam for 5-8 minutes, or until carrot ribbons are "al dente," rearranging once or twice so that all the carrots get equal exposure to the steam (you can't exactly stir them). Remove carrots from steamer and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper and toss to evenly distribute.
  5. In a sautΓ© pan, melt 3 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Butter will melt, foam, and brown. Make sure it gets brown but doesn't burn - the browning adds a lovely depth and nuttiness to the flavor. When it is brown, reduce heat to medium low and add herbs.
  6. Add shrimp and cook for one minute on each side. Add carrots, toss to combine, and cook for an additional minute or two. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve garnished with parsley.
Delicate ribbons of carrots are tossed in browned butter with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and topped with shrimp to make a fresh, flavorful, beautiful, and healthy meal. Carrot noodles are paleo and gluten free too! | www.pinchmeimeating.com

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Carmella
    April 9, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I really hate carrots but this is gorgeous! What a nice little treasure, the same thing happened with my pepper plants only they turned out to be banana peppers instead of bell peppers. All 6 of them. I was pretty bummed. Here’s to getting started this year and remembering to water! LOL

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 9, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks Carmella! My coworker planted what he thought was a sweet banana pepper plant last year and it turned out to be hot banana peppers! Yikes! It’s too bad you don’t like carrots, this was so good. Also, you’d be proud of me, the shots of the final dish are with artificial light!

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    April 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Wow, Caroline! I’m so glad I could inspire such a beautiful dish! Thank you so much for the shout-out. This is exactly what I love about sharing recipes – seeing what others do with it to make something new and amazing! <3

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 13, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Awh, thanks Chelsea! I saw your beautiful photos and heard butter and rosemary and knew I had to try that with my carrots! Thanks for the inspiration! <3

  • Reply
    David
    April 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    This looks incredibly beautiful and healthy! I’m not sure I could give a pasta completely, but every once in a while carrots would make a great option.i

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 20, 2016 at 1:50 am

      I definitely wouldn’t want to give up real pasta! But I do love a good veggie noodle too, and these were delicious!

  • Reply
    Patrick
    May 4, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Wow this looks great, love all the veggie pics πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      May 6, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks, Patrick! Hoping to get an abundance of veggies in the garden this summer too!

  • Reply
    Whitney @WhittyPaleo
    May 28, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I really want to get into gardening and growing my own food but the weather in the UK is so unpredictable, I can’t bring myself to endure a whole year and not have anything to show for it lol! Plus, I would need eons to learn about gardening. HOWEVER, I have carrots and shrimp and this sounds like and easy and tasty meal! Thanks for the recipe! πŸ™‚

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