Sunday, January 30, 2011
Speaking of fashion, back when I lived in Colorado, I wore green puffy vests, blue ones, pink ones, sweaters in red and purple and brown. You know what living in New York for six years does to your wardrobe? It turns it all black and gray. That's a lot less depressing than it sounds, actually, because for the fashion challenged among us, I have to say that matching blacks with grays is infinitely easier than dealing with color. God, did I just type 'dealing with color'? Save me.
But when it comes to food, especially in the winter, you might have noticed that I gravitate A Lot to orange. Orange here, orange here, orange here. Might just be my new favorite color. And if I were less annoyed at having to spend any more than 10 minutes picking out an outfit, it might even be a color I'd love to wear (I know I already linked that post, but it's a beautiful one). The reality is that I'm no fashionista, so if I can't wear it, I might as well eat it. After all, if you're going to dress in black and gray during days so filled with black and gray, well, orange you glad I'm blogging this recipe? (I'm so so so sorry for that horrible pun. I really am.)
I made this to accompany some roasted lamb shanks and some sweet and sour onions I made for a dinner party. A dinner party, by the way, thrown for two of the coolest people I have ever met. Two people who I actually picked up in the park. I mean, literally picked up since I asked them for their number after about half an hour of standing around watching our dogs play together. Central Park is like my own personal bar for picking up friends. More about the dinner party later, as I blog the rest of the meal. But for now, I want to say that I think it's important to have something fresh on the table amidst all of those dishes that have been roasted and braised and stewed and simmered.
This recipe comes from the lovely book Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery, which I have been coveting since flipping through it at The Morgan Library gift shop. If you're ever in New York and need a somewhat off the beaten path sort of cultural adventure, the Morgan is one of my favorite little places. And the gift shop a great place to be convinced to buy some beautiful book or other. So anyway. I have a technique when choosing a recipe to serve to guests that I don't plan on trying out beforehand. It's called the Amazon review pages. One commenter said this salad was her favorite, so I made it, and it was great. The seeds really add a great textural contrast to the shredded carrot salad, which can be kind of one dimensional otherwise.
Carrot and Seed Salad
Adopted from Rose Carrarini's Breakfast, Lunch, Tea
1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil
Sprinkling of salt for roasting the seeds
8 medium carrots, grated (by hand if you're ambitious, or in the food processor)
Handful of chives, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice, which is the juice from about 2 1/2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and toss them around with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Sprinkle with the salt and toast in an oven preheated to 350F for about 10 minutes. Check, though, because it could be more or less depending on your oven. Shake the pan a couple of times while they're toasting to prevent burning. Set the seeds aside to cool while you work on the rest.
Place the carrots, now grated, in a large serving bowl and set that aside also.
For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, black pepper and sugar. Then add the olive oil in a stream while continuing to whisk (or just dump it in and whisk it around). You can add more or less salt, pepper and lemon juice according to your taste, so be judicious at first.
Pour the dressing over the carrots, and mix, then add the cooled seeds and chives. Serve