On Saturday, I drove up to New York and spent a few hours at the Union Square Greenmarket, trying to look like a friendly and helpful canning expert. I talked to a lot of people, emptied three pints of jam in samples, and sold 11 books (I had higher hopes for such a highly trafficked market, but the sun was brutal and people kept moving).
Still, I think that the trip was worth it, for the people I talked to and for the fact that the stall I was positioned next to had the most gorgeous array of root vegetables I’d seen in a long time. I must have watched at least 100 people stop to take pictures of those heaps of carrots and beets (they weren’t so interested in the celery).
Standing in proximity, I started thinking about how much I rely on carrots in my daily cooking. On nights when dinnertime inspiration is low, I turn them into a pureed soup (my favorite is the recipe with toasted almonds that’s in the original Moosewood Cookbook). When I need an easy side, I cut them into sticks and roast them in olive oil. Snacks around my apartment almost always involve a sliced carrot and a tub of hummus.
And at those times when I want something that I can make ahead and keep in the fridge for those moments when hunger strikes, I blanch them lightly and toss them with a quick vinaigrette. It’s a bit like the pickled carrots you’ll find at falafel joints. I originally wrote this recipe for Serious Eats, during my phase as their In a Pickle contributor. Still, it’s a good one and worthy of another moment in the sun.
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Peel carrots and slice them into thick rounds. Simmer in a pot of salted water until just tender.
- While carrots cook, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mint, garlic, salt and pepper.
- When carrots are fork tender, drain them.
- Toss warm carrots together with vinaigrette and let them sit until carrots are cool.
- Place carrots in refrigerator and let them marinate for at least 1 hour before serving. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.