Quite Possibily… “The World’s Smallest Carrot Dish!!!” Spring Carrots with Mint and Quinoa

by on March 12, 2008

Ahhhh, the beauty of having an edible garden is both joyous and priceless. To feel the dampness of natures earth at our fingertips as we sowed 5 varieties of carrots seeds was gratifying. We watched and listened to this year’s momentous rains, as it nurtured and hydrated the soil that protected the seeds. Visions of sugar carrot ferries danced in our heads during the following weeks at each new sight of green sprig pushing up to greet our garden from beneath the soil. The warm of the following sun caressed both our skin and the tender, feathery leaves of the carrots. We were ecstatic at the up coming, bountiful harvest.

Well, that was waaaay back in December 2007! We’ve been plucking carrots out of the ground for the past 3 weeks now, hoping to find plump orange, red, and purple carrots bulbs. What do we get? Practically nothing but a light orange “root”! Occasionally we’ll find a nice root about half the size of our pinky finger. But where the heck are the carrots? We’ve been waiting way too long for some tender, home grown carrots damn it! The seed package said harvest within “60 days” and it’s been over “90″ days. We did everything the package told us to do: sow, water, sunshine, love, more water, caress, kiss and whisper sweet nothings. Liars! As our weather starts to warm, our overcrowded herb seedlings are crying out to have their garden plot back and it’ll be time to kick out the carrots. Hurry carrots, hurry!! The herbs want their growing space back! Unfortunately, we’re having to harvest and eat our tiny baby carrots now…well, what there is of it.

The perfectly warm and beautiful weather over the last 2 days have been singing Spring melodies in the garden. Knowing this glorious weather was to come, our plan was to enter our first home grown carrot dish, “Spring Carrots with Quinoa and Mint”, into Kalyn’s Kitchen Weekend Herb Blogging Event. Oh, we had grand illusions of submitting a dish with plump, sweet “purple haze” carrots, served alongside a bed of quinoa and freshly chopped mint. Quinoa grains (not really a true grain, but seeds from the Goosefoot plant) are the perfect nutty, slightly crunchy, high protein and gluten free accompaniment to our ambitiously healthy, but simple dish.

Well, we’re still forging ahead with what ever carrots are given to us from mother earth, along with our garden mint to participate in Kalyn’s great event. These itsy, bitsy, teeny weeny carrots might even be a candidate for the world’s smallest carrot dish, ever! So here it is, our submission to this weeks edition of Weekend Herb Blogging Event,which is hosted by Kel of Green Olive Tree.

Spring Carrots with Mint & Quinoa Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-3

Total Time: 20 Minutes

The slightly crunchy and chewy texture of gluten free quinoa grains make this dish fun to eat. You can also substitute your herb (dried or fresh) of choice if mint is not available. Of course, use any size carrots you’d like.


  • 2 tablespoons of butter or oil
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • Fresh chopped mint or herbs


  1. Heat pan, add oil or butter. Add shallots and garlic. Cook till fragrant and soft. Then add quinoa, broth, salt and pepper, then bring to boil. Turn down to low heat , cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, then fluff quinoa. Cover again and cook for remaining 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Fluff one last time.
  2. In separate sauce pan add butter or oil and quickly cook carrots until desired tenderness. Remove from heat.
  3. In separate bowl toss together quinoa, mint and carrots. Serve.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

quinoa carrot salad

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 missginsu March 12, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I’m soooo jealous of your garden space! As I recall, when my dad and I used to thin out the carrot patch, we just threw the itsy-bitsy carrots into the compost heap. But I love the “tiny vegetables as the stars of the show” idea. They really are adorable. And that’s something even fire-escape gardeners and patio-gardeners could get on board with.


2 Indigo March 12, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Those tiny carrots are so adorable! All the love you lavished/sweet nothings you whispered weren’t in vain; you’ve probably set a mini-food record XD…


3 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) March 12, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Seriously, those are the tiniest carrots! But I’ll bet they are also the most tender. Nice to combine them with the quinoa. And the fun of gardening is that you get to try again the following year!


4 Jen Yu March 12, 2008 at 3:48 pm

OMG! Those are just the cutest carrots EVAR!! I love them :) That’s awesome that you have a garden (I have an organic garden plot in our front yard – not sure what the hell we can grow in 2 weeks of summer though!). I can’t wait to see what else you guys harvest. *LOVE* the carrots.


5 Kalyn March 12, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Well, whatever the carrots lack in size they definitely make up for in cuteness. They have to be the prettiest little carrots I ever saw. I have a big garden, and this spring I’m hiring someone to build growboxes for me because my soil is very rich but full of rocks. Truly can’t wait to start digging in the dirt myself.


6 Cakelaw March 12, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Ain’t these the cutest wee carrits I’ve ever seen! Awww.


7 Vicki March 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I had the same problem with my root veggies never growing beyond mini-size. I think it was because under the first few inches of good soil, I had mostly hard clay. After I tilled deeper, I got bigger carrots.


8 Lyrical Lemongrass March 12, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Oh they’re soooo adorable!!! We only have the humongous version here.


9 Toni March 12, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I have a little bit of space, but I don’t have much sunlight. And any time I’ve tried growing something edible, other than herbs, it gets attacked by some fungus or other. So I’ve given up on growing anything other than lavender, rosemary, thyme, etc.

I adore the look of those mini-carrots! And love the combo with quinoa!


10 evil chef mom March 12, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I don’t think Bugs Bunny would like the size of those carrots. He would be highly dissapointed. Sous Chef Numero Uno wants to know if they were really flavorful or completely tasteless.


11 matt wright March 12, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Those are the smallest bloody carrots I have ever seen! And also the best photographed small carrots I have ever seen :D


12 sra March 12, 2008 at 10:35 pm

ha ha, nice post! and the carrots look cute. i hope your internet problems are over.

as for the drinks event, you CAN participate – alcohol is welcome there. :) It’s just that I didn’t use it.


13 Shankari March 12, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Those babies look cute! I have Quinoa sitting in my pantry forever. I will make your recipe now.


14 Rita March 12, 2008 at 11:17 pm

i love mini sized carrots, those are gorgeous…and super cuteeeeee….but pls supersize my chocolates, coke and fries hehehe


15 ivy March 12, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I am so glad you’re back. I have been visiting you several times and saw that ooops message.
Those lilliput carrots are so cute but what they lack in size have gained in taste. Never saw anything like this before.


16 Pixie March 12, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Oh no, you cooked the babies!!! :) We haven’t had quinoa in a long while, think we may have got bored with it. Perhaps, it’s time to try it again.


17 Kitt March 13, 2008 at 12:24 am

Those are the cutest damn carrots I’ve ever seen.

They look really tasty, too.


18 peabody March 13, 2008 at 1:36 am

Those are super cute. I am quite sure I could even get my veggie hater hubby to eat those!


19 Mike March 13, 2008 at 3:36 am

lol, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has inadvertently grown midget vegetables. Last year, I grew some very nice looking red bell peppers…although they were about the size of a child’s fist! Just call them heirloom carrots and nobody will be the wiser! ;-) Looks good though–if anything, you just get all that flavor in a more concentrated package


20 Simply...Gluten-free March 13, 2008 at 5:52 am

At least you got them to grow. Last year my hubby and I decided to grow veggies and herbs. We cleared out land, built raised beds, bought soil and plants and so much stuff. We got 1 tomoato! Just one darn tomato! We call it our 4 hundred dollar tomato. Your carrots are so CUTE! PS – I am happy you are back on the airwaves (or what ever waves these are)


21 Lisa March 13, 2008 at 9:47 am

Now tell me who can look at those little babies and not Awwwwwww? I sure can’t. I’m so jealous that you can garden in March! Our snow just melted! Glad to see you guys back! Hope ya get to stay this time! LOL. Lisa


22 Lil March 13, 2008 at 1:23 pm

you have to admit, these are super duper cute carrots! and i am jealous that you have great weather whereas ours here has been pretty much rubbish, with some barely-there sunshine, followed by heavy rain and crazy wind… brrr…


23 Louise March 13, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Those carrots are so cute! I have no problem eating meat, but I would feel so bad eating those guys haha. “Oh noes! Don’t eat us! Look at how cute we arrrre!” I bet they were so tender and delicious…


24 nikkipolani March 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Y’know, a neighbor of mine used to grow carrots, which he readily shared. They were so bland and so quick to go limp. What a disappointment. They weren’t even as cute as your teeny tiny ones. I love the carrot top greens that you’ve got pictured in that first shot. And I LOVE quinoa – what a great little grain!


25 kate March 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm

haha those look so cute. like Bonsai carrots. Well i’m quite glad they didn’t grow to the full size. This is really an unusual treat :D
I am growing some Chinese cabbage too from seeds in a packet from south Africa. It said 90 days for harvest , its 5 months now , they are still in the soil in my garden ! So trust me u are better of with those tiny carrots !
BTW have u tried the Guinness Book of Records. Its worth a try !
Smallest Carrots in the world :p


26 Snehal March 13, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Aahhh cuteness!! And in time for Easter, how perfect! those carrots are seriously cute:)

Hey, thnx for directing me to the weekend herb blogging event. just sent my entry!


27 Wandering Chopsticks March 14, 2008 at 12:14 am

OMG, those are the cutest carrots ever!!! I’d happily harvest tiny batches of carrots like that. Hmm. Maybe Peter Rabbit stole all your big carrots? :P


28 anya March 14, 2008 at 12:39 am

Oh, your carrot cuties are simply adorable!! I just can’t get my eyes off them in your photos!!!

BTW, a carrot is another vegetable that patronizes my kitchen! :)


29 Big Boys Oven March 14, 2008 at 1:40 am

oh looks so awesome. I had never seen such a small carrot before! I wonder hoe it taste and how to manage them! lol! I wish I had a vegetable garden!


30 amy March 14, 2008 at 7:13 am

I think these are really good and, supposedly, the smaller the sweeter – right? or wrong with these? regardless they’re cute and i think you did them justice by keeping them whole (since I guess they’re too small to cut up!). Really nice springy dish! amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com


31 amanda March 14, 2008 at 11:16 am

my goodness! those really are the tiniest carrots i’ve ever seen! this is another dish that’s right up my alley – simple and fresh. looks great!


32 maybelle's mom March 15, 2008 at 6:39 am

ah, while i love quinoa, it makes me sad that we had a close down the city snowstorm last week, so no baby carrots right now. but, i might grow some and radishes in pots this summer. our soil is too clay to get such perfect carrots… so a few weeks from now I hope to do this recipe.


33 Christine March 15, 2008 at 9:26 am

Diane – are the carrots sweet? It was great that you made use of them anyway – I think quinoa is a lovely grain and combining it with mint is just great. I am green with envy for your garden – and now with the tangerines, I think I’m about to fall over.


34 Tartelette March 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Wish I could have a small garden but marsh land is not recommended! I love how tiny the carrots are, seriously anything that small is just perfect!


35 Johanna March 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Those tiny carrots are so cute – wonder if they are packed with all the nutrients that were planned for the large carrots? Love the sound of the dish too – carrot and mint sounds like a good combination


36 beth March 31, 2008 at 8:47 am

This looks amazing, I’m just starting to experiment more with quinoa, and every time I use mint I wonder why I don’t use it more often. I can’t wait to try this!


37 Chez US April 18, 2008 at 9:07 am

Diane & Todd, these are the smallest and cutest carrots, I have ever seen. I think we will be putting them in the garden next week. I wonder how radishes would look. Too cute!


38 Stacy April 18, 2008 at 2:13 pm

At first glance I wasn’t even sure if those carrots were real. They are so cute!


39 Nicole aka Gidget August 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I made this tonight and it was delicious! I think next time I’ll leave the salt out since my broth probably would have had enough salt. Even my quinoa-skeptical parents liked it! :)


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