Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Baby Carrot and Beet Salad

Here is a beautifully simple preparation of the first small carrots and beets of the season.  This comes from Nigel Slater's wonderful, unusual, vegetable-centered cookbook, Tender.  Slater uses the tiny roots he pulls from his garden when thinning his carrot bed, which are even smaller than the baby carrots we harvested this week.  The baby roots are briefly steamed, then immediately dressed with a light, lemony dressing.  From the man himself: "To turn this into a main-course salad, add spoonfuls of ricotta or cottage cheese to which you have added pepper and some of the dressing."  Yum.

copied, nearly word for word, from Tender by Nigel Slater

enough for 4

carrot thinnings - 6 handfuls, no thicker than your little finger, or 2 bunches of baby carrots
small beets - 6
red wine vinegar - 1 Tablespoon
a clove of garlic, chopped
lemon juice - a Tablespoon
olive oil - 4 Tablespoons
cilantro leaves - a good handful (about 4 Tablespoons)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wipe the carrots and remove their stems.  Don't peel the beets, but cut off any thick stems or tails.  Put a shallow layer of water in a large, wide pan, add the beets, cover, and steam for ten minutes, then add the carrots.  Remove the beets and carrots when they are tender.  Peel the beets and cut into thin strips, somewhat similar in thickness to the carrots.

Make the dressing by dissolving a good pinch of sea salt in the red wine vinegar, then whisking in the chopped garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Add black pepper and toss gently with the beet strips and carrots.  Add the cilantro leaves and toss again.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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