The idea of restraint or moderation does not come easily to me. I spend my time in the extreme, bouncing between the opposite ends. I often say I’m at full-intensity or I’m asleep (I have no pace). I can’t say this is a personality trait I always like to highlight, but it does explains so many of my ailments & behaviors.
The same goes for recipes. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word restraint. Not in the way of control, but more in choosing what not to do. It doesn’t always have to be big, complicated, hard - and that’s not just a recipe for food. I tend to push myself very hard, and recently I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes it’s OK to boil carrots.
WINTER CARROTS WITH TOASTED WALNUTS & CARAWAY GREMOLATA (Serves 2-4) GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN
This recipe is Inspired & adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy. I love this super simple, but flavorful way to serve carrots. I followed her recipe, which called for boiling carrots, something I normally would never do, but am happy I listened. This recipe could be used with any seed, coriander or cumin would be a great option. *Also, if you need to toast nuts, put them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 5-10 minutes (set a timer! they burn fast) or until golden and smelling fragrant.
- 1 lb. carrots (I used a purple variety), reserve 1 carrot to grate
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- About 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- More parsley, to serve
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
Wash and dry carrots, peel if you choose to (I don’t) and cut into 1 inch chunks. Add carrots to a saucepan with enough water to cover and large pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, covered, until tender, but not completely softened. About 12 minutes worked for me.
While carrots cook, add caraway seeds to a mortar and pestle. Break down the seeds as much as possible, but it’s fine if some whole ones remain. I find it easier to do the caraway seeds first, then add the rest of the ingredients. Once you’ve broken down the seeds, add garlic, parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue breaking down mixture until it looks like a pesto. Then, stir in 1 tablespoon of zest and the juice of half a lemon. Grate remaining carrot (large grate), and set aside.
Once carrots are cooked, strain, then return to the pot to dry in the residual heat. Toss in the grated carrot and gremolata until well coated, then transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lemon over carrots with a drizzle (about 1 tablespoon) of olive oil. Crumble toasted walnuts over top & garnish with more parsley. Season with freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.