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Zesty Carrot Casserole

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Many people have requested the recipe for the carrots my son-in-law's German grandmother (Omi) makes for large family gatherings. I had originally mentioned it under the thread titled "What foods are a MUST for Thanksgiving".

Because of the size of the gatherings, she usually doubles or triples the recipe. When she does it for a crowd, she puts it in a large, rectangular glass baking dish. It goes well with almost any type of meat, but is particularly good with ham. I like it because gives a shot of color to your plate, is very easy, and everyone seems to love it. It's also a very flexible recipe, which is nice because I'm a very "seat of the pants" type of cook & like to improvise. You might want to experiment a lttle with the horseradish -- I'd cut back a little for your first batch just to see where your tastebuds (or those of your guests) are comnfortable.

Omi's Zesty Carrots (serves 6-8)

8 carrots, sliced into rounds or oblique ovals (you can also substitute frozen)
2 TBS grated onion
2 TBS grated horseradish (she uses the prepared jar kind, usually found in the dairy case.)
1/2 C mayo
1/4 TSP pepper
2 TBS butter, melted
1/3 C seasoned bread crumbs (eg. Pepperidge Farm)

1. If using raw carrots, cook for 8 minutes -- you don't want to overcook since they will also be baked. RESERVE THE JUICE. You can substitute frozen carrots, however you'll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly to make sure they don't turn to mush in the finished dish.
2. Mix reserved cooking juice with onion, mayo, horseradish & pepper.
3. Combine with carrots & put in buttered casserole dish.
4. Combine bread crumbs with melted butter & sprinkle on top of casserole.
5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Can be made the day before.

Let me know if you try it, if you liked it, and if you made any personalizations that were a success.

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  1. This looks very interesting. How do you cook the carrots - boil? steam? roast? I don't know how to cook them to get juice. Thanks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lattelover

      Omi is pretty old school, so I suspect she cookssteams them on the stove in a an inch or so of water. I'll have to ask.

      1. re: lattelover

        I think the "juice", us simply the water the carrots are cooked in.

        FOTD

        1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

          You are correct, but dependiong on how you cook them -- let's say boiled versus steamed -- the amount of reserved "juice" can differ greatly, and that would make a big difference in the outcome of the recipe. Like I said, I'm a very "seat of the pants" cook, so I tend to cook by the way it looks to me -- I'd play with it until I though it "looked right". Not everyone cooks that way, so I should get a more precise idea of how much "juice" is needed! Good ol' Omi.

      2. Boil the carrots until barely tender, drain and save the cooking water. Use 1/4 cup of this reserved water to add to the mayo, onion, horseradish & pepper mixture to thin it to a sauce-like consistency. I would not reduce the horseradish unless perhaps you are using the extra hot horseradish. Also, plain breadcrumbs are fine. If made ahead and refrigerated, allow a little more baking time. (350-375 oven)

        If you want to snazzy up the recipe (and have the time and/or patience) cut the carrots in julienne strips about 3" long. Try to place them in casserole with the strips all going in the same direction.
        Very, very good with roast beef.