After a very long wait, summer is finally coming. Winter seemed to last so long. The harbors are full and the season for fun on the water is beginning. Let’s hope summer lasts as long as winter did.
One of my favorite vegetables is carrots. When I was growing up, I only knew of two ways to eat them, raw on a veggie platter or boiled with a little onion, butter, sugar and salt. Later on, I learned there was a whole world of carrot recipes and even carrot colors. In addition to the traditional orange, there are white, yellow and purple carrots, each varying a little in their taste. Small, young ‘baby carrots’ are best eaten raw while full-grown can be eaten raw or cooked and are at their peak during late summer and autumn though available all year long in the grocery.
They can be eaten whole, peeled, shredded, sliced, diced, pureed, mashed, steamed, boiled, sautéed, roasted or turned into juice (I love carrot juice!!). Most of the carrots we buy are in a plastic bag. In the fridge they can be stored that way for a few weeks. If fresh from the garden, placing them in a container of cold water in the refrigerator is best.
While heading into much warmer weather, I like anything chilled. Sometimes a little cooking is involved, but the finished dish is always cold or room temp. Here are some different dishes you may not have tried yet.
Carrot & Watercress Salad
For the Dressing:
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1/2 tsp. of sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 Tb. of good olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Croutons, small, homemade or store bought
1/2 lb. of carrots, minced
2 bunches of watercress
Bleu cheese, crumbled
To prepare the dressing place the orange rind and juice, sugar and garlic in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until blended and then add the salt and pepper to taste.
Gently mix the carrots, watercress and croutons and pour the dressing over it, tossing well. Garnish with orange slices and crumbled blue cheese. Serves 4.
Julienned Carrots, Snow Peas & Endive
1 Tb. of finely chopped shallot
1 garlic clove
1 Tb. of herbed or white wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tb. of walnut oil
1/8 tsp. of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup of julienned carrots (orange or a
variety of colors)
1 cup of julienned snow peas
2 heads of Belgian endive cored and julienned
For the dressing, in a large bowl combine the shallot, garlic and vinegar. Whisk in the walnut oil and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Bring a quart of water to boil, add the carrots and cook for one minute. Add the snow peas and blanch for another 15 seconds. Drain and refresh under cold water.
Remove the garlic clove from the dressing. Add the cooked vegetables into the bowl and toss well. This dish can be eaten warm or room temperature. Serves 6.