All you lovely readers should be cursing my name. Really, you should. I mean, I greatly appreciate all your compliments, online and off (i.e., very cool meeting Stacey this weekend at the Headhouse market!), but you’d have a different selection of choice words for me if you knew the breadth and depth of the treasure trove of post drafts waiting in the wings to be published for your pleasure. These drafts are full of sumptuous recipes and tummy-rumbling pictures.
Problem is, there are only 24 hours in a day and I usually try to spend at least five of them sleeping. Really, I’ve thought about giving up sleep altogether but it’s a dangerous proposition. In any case, with all the bounty of my garden and the farm, I’ve been cooking like mad this past month, churning out at least 4 or 5 recipes in a weekend. Unfortunately, in the effort to keep up with all the produce, I haven’t been able to keep up with the writing.
Today I start the ticking off of the draft writing to-do list. Starting off the festivities is this dreamy little recipe for carrots that my e-friend, Gintoino, sent me all the way from Portugal. If you weren’t around for my raving about Portugal, I must insist you click here and here and here to read about this amazing country and its food.
Cenouras de Conserva à Algarvia, which I’ve simplified, for better or worse, as Portuguese Carrot Salad, has become an unexpected favorite in the SFTF kitchen. For starters, it keeps for ages, which is a huge plus since I’m currently leading two lives, one in Philly and one at Longwood Gardens, so I’m not always finishing up my leftovers in a timely manner (seriously, don’t look in the back of my fridge is you have a bad heart). But even more importantly, the flavors are so sensual. I had no idea carrots could be so sexy, but they are!
Let’s all thank Gintoino for this particular precious jem and beg for more breezy and delicious Portuguese recipes! Por favor?!
A quick note, if you’ll humor me, about the carrots themselves: I grew these King Midas carrots in my garden as a spring planting (harvested mid-summer). They are lovely to look at, straight and long. However, I wasn’t so pleased with their flavor as I have been with varieties in the past. I have a second planting in of Rainbow for a fall harvest and I’ll let you know how those compare. In looking to buy carrots for the salad, try to get smaller sweeter ones if possible.
“Cenouras de Conserva à Algarvia” :: Portuguese Carrot Salad
Submitted by reader Gintoino
4-5 large carrots
2 garlic clove
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. fennel seeds
1 t. paprika
Salt and pepper
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the carrots into coins. Place the carrots in small saucepan with an inch of water and steam over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes until tender, but not soft. Drain the carrots and leave to cool for a few minutes.
Grate the garlic on a microplane or mince very finely. Mix together in a small bowl with the vinegar, oil, fennel seeds, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss the cooled carrots with the dressing and chopped cilantro. Allow to marinade at least overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.