Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally! Carrot Salad Success!

AC has been blasting non stop for a few weeks, the dog days of summer are here, husband and I haven't been very inventive lately. we're cooking old standbys, not cooking at all (tabbouli or tuna salad anyone?) or not having success with new creations.

101 Cookbooks to the rescue. Ok, so everything she does is vegetarian, and there's a little too much tofu for my tastes, but can i tell you that her website is the best thing to keep me from falling asleep during a slow day at the office? then i hit on the idea of blending two different Carrot salad recipes that i found there. the results were heavenly, easy, vegetarian friendly, and probably passover friendly. thank god for that last one, i don't ever want to have to choke down another overly sweet carrot tzimmes again.

here is the easiest, and only Carrot Recipe you will ever need:

Carrot salad with olives

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pine nuts
olive oil
1-2 lbs young spring carrots, skinned and sliced thin on a mandolin *
1 tbsp honey
lemon juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, each olive cut in half
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint

* what the hell is a mandolin?. Or, you could use an uber sharp knife, or put the carrots through a food processor for a more slaw type texture

put the orange juice in a small sauce pan, and simmer till reduced to 1/2 cup (this takes about 15 minutes). meanwhile, toast the pine nuts by putting them on a foil lined baking sheet in your toaster over, and using a medium "toast" setting. When toasted, set aside to cool.

put a little olive oil in a skillet, and gently saute the carrot slices until they have lost most of their rawness. the center parts will turn a yellowy color when they are done. put carrots in a bowl with any oil remaining in the pan and add a few good pinches of salt (don't skip the salt. seriously. don't do it.). add honey, lemon juice, olives, reduced orange juice and cumin, and mix well. Just before serving mix in the cilantro, mint, and pine nuts.

is excellent served over lettuce, or with couscous, or with anything, or straight. the pine nuts are awesome. and i was able to get the most awesome baby carrots at the farmers market.

I haven't made a salady type thing that i liked this much in a really long time. the carrots and honey are sweet, the citrus juice and olives are twangy, and cumin and pinenuts are earthy. it's just super good. and good for you! now i'm starting to sound like the 101 Cookbooks lady!

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