Heirloom carrots are at their best fresh, pulled straight from the ground, yet cooking them increases their nutritional content. Simmer carrots over low heat in a little water with a good knob of butter to keep all the color and nutrition in the same pot.
8 medium heirloom carrots (about 1 pound), preferably mixed colors
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, plus more as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Trim the ferny green tops off the carrots yet leave 2 inches of green stem, yet keep the roots intact. If carrots are young and tender, keep them whole or cut into matchsticks. Place the carrots in a 1 quart saucepan along with the butter and a tablespoon or two of water to barely cover.
Simmer the carrots over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water or butter as needed to keep the carrots from sticking to the pan. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped tarragon, and serve.
For flavorful and crunchy garnish, try this: Chop carrot tops into smallish pieces, and drip into hot oil for a few seconds, until they crisp up. Remove with a slotted spoon.