Tag Archives: carrots

hot carrots!

hot-carrots-carrots

if you’re anything like us, if it’s pickled, it’s better.  i’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a few years when my friend (and fabulous hairstylist) stacie was remarking that you just can’t get ‘hot carrots’ here in texas, like we had back in california where we grew up. i had almost completely forgotten about these beautifully tangy and mildy picante carrots found on the table of virtually every mexican restaurant in southern california. ninfa’s here in texas used to have them, then removed them for so-called ‘health department’ rules…oh, well. once you try them, you will find any excuse to pair them with whatever you are eating–they are super addictive.

hot-carrots-peppers

hot-carrots-pepper-garlic-bay-leaves

hot carrots (makes about 8-10 half pint ball jars)

12-14 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4″ on the bias (see picture)

6 fresh  jalapenos, sliced thinly lengthwise

2 onions, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thinly

5-10 whole garlic cloves, peeled

4-5 bay leaves

about a tbsp of whole black peppercorns

2 cups regular ol’ white distilled vinegar

4 cups water

1 tsp dried oregano

 

put all ingredients except oregano in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. make sure you have enough liquid to cover the vegetables, adding more water & vinegar in the same 2:1 ratio if necessary. simmer on medium high for a few minutes until carrots are crisp tender, about 5 minutes (a bit less done than you would normally like to eat them because as they sit off the heat, they will cook a smidge more). remove from heat and add oregano. cover with a lid and allow to sit off the heat until cool. put in jars, covered with the vinegar broth and give them away. or put ’em all in a big bowl and cover tightly if you’re selfish and want to keep them all to yourself (stacie!). you really don’t need to sterilize the jars if you keep them refrigerated–they’ll keep for about a thousand years this way. and they’ll get spicier as they become further infused by the peppers.

hot-carrots-in-jars-2

these are great on tortilla chips or crackers while you’re waiting for someone to cook you up some homemade enchiladas. or put ’em on some black or borracho beans. or sit at the counter and eat ’em straight outta the jar-you know who you are.

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Filed under appetizer, mexican, side dish

lighten up!

 

marjoram

i was looking for something a little lighter after a last weekend’s valentine sweet-fest. i searched for a recipe with some items i had on hand; lentils, fresh marjoram, a handful of tiny and beautiful purple carrots from the farmer’s market. after a minute or two, i came across this recipe for lentil salad by alice waters. and since i was making a meal of it, i tossed in a few extras. it all added up to a much heartier winter salad that i thoroughly enjoyed. i hope you do too.

look how cute these carrots are!

bunch-purple-carrots

carrot-with-penny

be sure not to overcook your lentils–they can get mushy. you want them to be a bit al dente, like pasta, because they will continue to cook for a few minutes more while they are marinating in the vinaigrette. next time i might add a little baby spinach for color and allow it to wilt into the lentils after cooking. i topped the salad with some crumbled goat cheese and ate it while it was still warm-perfect for a cool night.

lentils-raw

lentil-salad-finished-22

lentil salad (adapted from the art of simple food by alice waters)

 
1 cup lentils (French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked.)

1/2 a small onion, left intact

i bay leaf

1 tablespoon red wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar
Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

a big handful of small carrots (try to buy with tops still attached-they seem to remain more flavorful-or from the farmer’s market).

1 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram

a few glugs of olive oil

3 ounces fresh, crumbled goat cheese

a few tablespoons toasted walnuts

 

preheat the oven 400 degrees. trim carrots and drizzle with a few glugs of olive oil, the marjoram, salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes in a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides until crisp tender and sweet. set aside. (you can toast the walnuts at the same time if you need to on a separate cookie sheet but check on them every few minutes so they don’t burn-they should only take about 5 minutes, just until they’re fragrant).

while the carrots are roasting, sort and rinse the lentils. cover with water by 3 inches, add bay leaf and half an onion and bring to a boil. turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through (adding more water if necessary), about 20-25 minutes. drain and place in a large bowl.

toss the lentils with the red wine vinegar, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. let sit for 5 minutes. taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed. add the extra-virgin olive oil, roasted carrots and parsley. stir to combine. 

top with fresh, crumbled goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

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Filed under salad