Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Pot of Carrots Under Every Rainbow...

As I prepare for my normal Saturday morning farmers market run, under the steam of my second cup of ambition, there is a true sense of ambition as to what new discovery will occur today.
Last week I bought the first asparagus of the season and some AMAZING veal chops. I was also lucky enough to be given (yes freebie disclosure) some veal bones to make stock. This is the story behind the veal.
The veal chops just were treated to a quick brown in some butter and 10 minutes in the oven to finish them off, and there simply aren't enough foodie words to describe the tender, sweet, heavenly flavour.
It just goes to strengthen the argument that with the best produces you don't need to put it through 8 different processes, to have it as a gel, foam, a mist or even a soil.
(Oh I just can't wait to try the next deconstructed salted caramel soil, sorry was that too harsh? Maybe I need another cup of ambition?)

With this theory in mind one of my staples purchases at the market are carrots, and yes people carrots aren't just the new orange, they are a rainbow of colour.

This salad can be enjoyed raw, but I opt for a light blanching just to take the raw edge off

Rainbow Carrot Salad
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seed ground (see note)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Salt
  • In a fry pan on medium heat, toast the almonds with the cumin and a pinch of salt, as the almonds heat, their oils will be a glue for the cumin to stick on
  • Using a food processor, slice the carrots into thin slices (do this separately by variety)
  • Blanch 1 variety of carrot for under 1 minute in boiling water, and then transfer into icy water to stop the cooking process.
  • Repeat with remaining varieties.
  • Dry on paper towel (or salad spinner but I'd be worried they'd fly through the slots)
  • For the dressing combine olive oil, lemon juice and honey with a pinch of salt, and shake it baby!
  • Add the carrots to a bowl and coat with the dressing
  • Top with cumin almonds
  • The purple carrots bleed a lot so you want to make sure they are well drained to avoid them staining the others
  • Note: I toast whole cumin seeds and then grind but go with whatever way you prefer
  • I have also added tahini to the dressing and while delicious it makes the salad cloudy and takes away from the brightness of the carrots
  • Also I've used whole almonds as it a worry I don't even follow my recipes??  

I don't have kids, but I think they might like to eat the bright carrot "magic coins", I know I would!
What is your favourite "showcase the produce" meal or ingredient?