Coconut Ginger Carrot Gratin is something I would never have thought of on my own. Carrots, yes, ginger yes, but coconut? The only other time I have encountered this combination is in Morning Glory muffins (carrot, pineapple, coconut and raisin) and my imagination wouldn't have stretched that mix to a vegetable side dish.
But Mollie Katzen does it in the book I'm cooking my way through - "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."
It starts with a saute of sliced fresh carrots, onions, garlic, salt and fresh ginger.
Toward the end of the cooking, you add diced crystallized ginger and lemon juice. The mixture is spread in a baking dish, baked for 20 minutes, and taken out of the oven.
The top is sprinkled with shredded coconut, and baked until the coconut gets a little brown. Voila.
I was afraid when I made it, because so many coconut things are vile to me. I remember trying one coconut shrimp after hearing about how great they were. I was appalled to find this giant hairy looking shrimp on my plate, tasting for all the world like a macaroon with a shrimp jammed inside. Yuck.
This is tasty, though. The carrots are quite strongly flavored, and, as Mollie says, reminiscent of the Caribbean. It might make a nice side dish for fish.