A Big Bag of Carrots and a Dream
April 21, 2009
Unfortunately, I decided to learn to cook vegetables in the late fall. With the winter vegetable season trudging along, I've begun to feel like a one-trick pony with quite seriously only three recipes in my repertoire that can make use of the meager offerings in the produce section these days. Though I suppose that makes me more accurately a three-trick pony, I still strive toward that elusive carrot on a stick that is the ability to eat veggies every night of the week without repeating and without feeling the need to compare myself to a diminutive ungulate.
A metaphorical carrot on a stick leads me to consider the very real five pound bag of carrots taking up valuable real-estate in our fridge and threatening to turn rubbery and unusable if neglected much longer. These aren't the cute baby carrots either, that promise crisp sweetness with their low-effort clean and rounded nubs. No, I'm talking about gnarled 9 to 12-inch lengths of orange tubers still sporting smears of the dirt in which they gestated and starting to split lengthwise as they dry out. These are to be my inspiration for at least a few healthy side dishes? Yes! And there's some very good reasons:
1. they're laughably cheap,
2. they outlast even my ability to procrastinate when kept in the fridge, and
3. they are at least as tasty raw as they are cooked.
Just take a moment to think about the implications of this last point. You can make entire dishes without actually having to cook anything. Talk about a time-saver! This is my kind of "cooking"!
I'm Just Not That Sweet
I bravely pulled the first 4 carrots out of the huge bag but then lost a good portion of my nerve. I had trouble likening these trollish tubers to the sweet and buttery carrot dishes of my youth, but I couldn't remember eating a carrot-focused dish any other way. Rather than listen to my gut instincts, I fell back upon the familiar. I found this simple and sweet Carrot Salad recipe posted by Colleen on All Recipes and decided to give it a go.
The ingredients aren't anything crazy, just carrots, apple and slivered almonds mixed with honey and finished with a squeeze of lemon and a few dashes of salt and pepper. I'll let you follow the link to the actual recipe if you're interested in specifics, as I followed it exactly. If you can shred and mix things together, you've got all the skills you need to tackle this recipe. I may have been undershooting even my limited kitchen skills.
The results? While tasty and sweet, I wouldn't call this sophisticated. It struck me as something you make because the kids will eat it too.The almonds added a good crunch but not much else as their flavor was drowned out by the sweetness of the carrots, apples and honey. It needs something to give it more adult appeal, but I haven't thought of what that is exactly. Definitely cut down on the honey and replace the almonds with a more aggressively flavored nut or seed and consider adding spices other than just salt and pepper. Really though, I don't think it's worth trying to refine. No need to become mired in this first disappointment. I'll just move on to the next recipe! I do have about 16 carrots left in the bag...
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both fruits are good for health.
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Carrot contains lots of vitamins which are good for skin, nails, stomach and eyes.
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