I made these carrots recently for a cocktail party. The descriptive passage before the recipe in the cookbook said that she liked to serve them as a side or as a tapas style appetizer. So, I thought they would be a nice side/snack to go with cocktails. And these carrots are delicious. They are tangy and spicy and way more interesting than any carrots I bet you’ve had recently.
Amusingly though, these were a terrible finger food. The vinaigrette is bright red and makes the likelihood (especially when mixed with cocktails) very high that you will have red, cheetos like, smudge marks on your pants by the end of the night. However, as a side dish on a real plate with a real fork, these are a great pleasure. This recipe comes from Radically Simple, a elegant and simple cookbook from Rozanne Gold. I have previously shared her recipe for Cheese Strata with Procuitto, Spinach, and Basil. That recipe has become one of my favorite foods ever. It is so delightful and perfect. The absolutely perfect breakfast for a crowd with minimal work. Radically Simple is an excellent cookbook to have in your collection. In fact, my mother got it for Christmas one year and I liked it so much that I got it for myself.
Gold makes many things in the book that seem pretty straightforward. Recipes that seem like the kind of thing you don’t really need a recipe for, but she has these beautiful simple twists on classic combinations or neat new ways for cooking your every day vegetables that will expand your cooking horizons. These carrots are a great example of that. Sure, they are steamed carrots in a vinaigrette, but the combination of flavors is one I would never have made on my own and I would have missed out! Generally, people don’t get super excited by a plate of carrots at a party, but these were devoured over the course of the night. These would make for a beautiful dish this upcoming Easter, or a great side for your next BBQ.
- 1 1/2 lb slender carrots, peeled
- 6 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 5 TB red wine vinegar
- 1 TB ground cumin
- 1 TB sweet paprika
- Large pinch cinnamon
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/3 cup julienned fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cut the carrots on the bias 1/4 inch thick. Bring a pot of water fitted with a steamer basket to a rapid boil. Add the carrots, cover and steam for 8 minutes, until just tender. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Push the garlic through a press and add to the dressing with 1 tsp salt. Add the hot carrots to the dressing. Toss well and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for several hours or up to 1 day. (It takes awhile for the carrots to soak up the vinaigrette. I left mine on the counter for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, before they were ready to serve.) Stir in the parsley before serving.
Photographs by Jessica Yager