04 February 2009

Carrots: more interesting than the rest of my life

I could tell you about how work's a mess (the new administration has essentially taken away our car keys and now we have to get OBPA to drive us everywhere) or how the weather's a mess (it took me 90 minutes to drive 35 miles this morning) or how [insert thing here] is a mess (let me count the ways) but that would not be very interesting. So let's talk about carrots instead.

Inspired by Regina Schrambling's recent Epicurious blog post about the salad in winter, and hungry for something that tasted like a fresh vegetable, I broke out my box grater the other night.

Carrot Salad

4 medium carrots
4 baby green Vidalia onions (the local grocery had these; they are larger than scallions but smaller than leeks. I would substitute one or two small leeks if the baby Vidalias are not available)
1/3 c pumpkin seeds (I used seeds saved from the pumpkins I was cooking with back in October)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small dried chile (or perhaps a tsp of crushed red pepper)
olive oil
2 Tbs grapefruit vinegar (from Trader Joe's. I bought a bottle for some reason, now forgotten. Whatever vinegar you like would work, as would lemon juice).

Grate the carrots into a bowl and set aside.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet. Slice the white and light green parts of the baby Vidalias and add to the pan, followed by the minced garlic. Saute gently until the onions are tender and just starting to carmelise. Add onions and garlic to the bowl with the carrots.

Return the skillet to the heat, add another drizzle of olive oil and toss in the chile. Stir the chile around to give it a chance to infuse the oil, then toss in the pumpkin seeds with a little salt and continue stirring until the seeds are toasted. Add the seeds to the bowl with the carrots and onions, and discard the chile.

Toss lightly with the vinegar and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serves 4. Quite possibly better the second day.

Carrot Salad

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