Quick pickled carrots with ginger

March 14, 2013 § 5 Comments

quick pickled carrot noodle salad

Looking back through the archives, it seems that every year around this time pickles make an appearance. Perhaps it’s to do with the lull between winter veg and new spring veg, since I certainly eat pickles year round. But right now, in March, pickled vegetables perk everything up; they’re light on effort and brighten up even the most ordinary vegetables and meals.

carrots, candied ginger, mirin, rice wine vinegar
shredded carrots

I hadn’t made pickled carrots in a while, and so when I’d got everything else ready it dawned on me that I was out of fresh ginger and frozen ginger. But, recalling the jar of candied ginger used in the pear-ginger sugar muffins, I decided to give it a try, subbing out some of the added sugar in my typical carrot pickling mixture for the sugar inherent in candied ginger. « Read the rest of this entry »


Thai-inspired green curry

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thai-inspired green curry is by no means an authentic dish, but it tastes seriously delicious and definitely made my cravings for Thai food diminish somewhat. Living in what is basically the middle of nowhere, there are actually many restaurants and grocery stores catering to Asian clientele, though sadly none for Thai food. However, I was able to scrounge around the decently-stocked “World Foods” aisle at Meijer and find some Thai curry pastes, both red and green, plus I had a few cans of coconut milk lurking around my pantry that I had stocked up on at a trip to Whole Foods a few months ago. Fortunately the paste I picked (the brand is helpfully named Thai Kitchen) is quite good: gently spicy and fragrant with lemongrass and kaffir limes.

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Warm salad of carrots, lamb, and leek

September 28, 2010 § 3 Comments

Fall is a time of transitions, and what better reflects seasonal shifts than a warm salad that combines the crispness of fresh vegetables with the savoriness of meat? This meal or appetizer has a bit of a French twist: thyme gently infuses the richness of the lamb; champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil make a classic vinaigrette for the multicolored carrots; pine nuts add some Mediterranean nuttiness; and then a hint of mint because, well, lamb and mint go great together…and I had some from the farmer’s market, which is always a source of seasonal inspiration.

While in Vienna during study abroad in college I ate a carrot salad that tasted completely different thanks to spices and herbs typically associated with Austro-Hungarian cuisine, so while the base ingredients of leeks, carrots, and lamb might stay the same (though you can certainly change those up too!), you could switch up the flavor using different oils, spices, nuts, and herbs and never serve the same salad twice.

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Roasted purple carrots with crispy rosemary

August 20, 2010 § 8 Comments

Ever since I learned that carrots could come in something other than orange, I’ve been eagerly anticipating cooking with them, and these delicious purple carrots that I got from the local farmers’ market did not disappoint. As you can see, in my bunch of purple carrots a small orange carrot stowed away.

You can definitely make this roasted carrot recipe with orange (or any other) carrots, but as I am always thrilled to have an excuse to ramble on about carrots and their history, here goes: Carrots can come in all different colors, from orange (originally bred in the 17th century in the Netherlands, in honor of the House of Orange) to white, pink, purple, and even red! Purple carrots are a bit stringier than their orange counterparts, but I think they have a slightly nuttier taste, a bit more subtle than the bright flavors of an orange carrot. This recipe is also easily increased for a crowd, and is sure to be very exciting at your next dinner party or whatever, since purple carrots are still not easily found in the local grocery store. « Read the rest of this entry »

Tangy and spicy red cabbage slaw

May 20, 2010 § 40 Comments

It’s getting warmer! I guess it seems strange because only seven weeks ago we last had snow, and suddenly it’s getting warm enough to turn on the fan. So, it’s time to start cooking light, summery dishes – and I think we can even eschew the term cook, as you can assemble this cabbage slaw without once turning on the oven or stove. It would be great to serve alongside Mexican food as the original recipe suggests, or anything grilled would complement it nicely as well.

This slaw is a combination of crisp red cabbage, shredded and grated carrots for crunch and color, tangy lime juice, and lots of cilantro. Some crumbled feta adds an extra layer of texture and flavor, but it’s certainly not necessary – and of course, vegans and others who cannot have dairy will opt out of using feta. This slaw is great either way and I recommend trying it both ways.

This slaw is great as a make-ahead dish because it really benefits from resting. The longer it sits the better it tastes, up to one day in advance. Of course, if you’re letting it rest for more than an hour, I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator – plus this keeps the cabbage nice and crunchy. « Read the rest of this entry »

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