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Crazy for carrots.

Their sweet flavor and cheery colors shine in a savory tart, salad, and cake.

SAVORY CARROT RIBBON TART

SERVES 6 TO 8 1 1/4 HOURS

With its tangle of bright carrot strips and bits of spicy chorizo,
this beautiful tart makes an exciting appetizer or even a light
main dish. An all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour, gives
especially flavorful and flaky results, but it's delicious made
with any kind of puff pastry.

1 sheet (14 or.) or 2 sheets (17.5 oz. total)
frozen puff pastry, thawed according
to package instructions
1 tbsp. beaten egg
5 medium rainbow carrots with tops
(1 1/4 lbs., any colors except purple;
  if no tops, use flat-leaf parsley)
1/2 cup diced Spanish chorizo
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400[degrees] with a rack set in
lower third of oven and no rack above.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface,
unfold dough; if using 2 sheets, stack
them. Roll (if needed for size) into a 10-by-12-in.
rectangle, smoothing creases;
trim dough to neaten edges. With both
hands, gently lift dough to lined baking
sheet. With a small knife, lightly score a
1/2-in. border around dough. Brush off
excess flour. Freeze 15 minutes to firm.

3. Brush border of dough with beaten egg.
Bake until puffed and lightly browned,
10 to 15 minutes. Press down on center of
pastry with a metal spatula to flatten it.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of
water to a boil. Chop 1 tbsp. carrot tops.
Tear more tops into small pieces to make
1 tbsp.; set tops aside. Peel carrots, then
set on a work surface and pull a vegetable
peeler along them to create 4 cups
ribbons; save end pieces for other uses.

5. Boil carrot ribbons until barely tender,
1 minute. Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice
water, and let cool. Drain ribbons and
pat very dry; toss in a bowl with chorizo,
oil, salt, and pepper.

6. In a food processor, whirl cream cheese
with 2 tbsp. feta until smooth, scraping
inside of bowl.

7. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese
mixture over center of pastry and smear
gently with fingers (it won't spread to
cover pastry). Sprinkle with reserved
chopped carrot tops. Arrange carrots
evenly over cream cheese and scatter
with remaining feta. Bake until pastry
is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

8. Let tart cool briefly on a rack, then scatter
reserved torn carrot tops on top.

PER SERVING 378 Cal., 61% (232 Cal.) from fat;
9 g protein; 26 g fat (9 g sat.); 27 g carbo (2.8 g fiber);
652 mg sodium; 35 mg chol.

WINE PAIRING A tangy pink sparkler like Gloria
Ferrer 2011 Brut Rose (Carneros; $47).
Its red fruit and spice love the chorizo, and its
yeastiness links to the pastry.--Sara Schneider


They're the tops

Carrots are carrots, right? Not so fast. They're kitchen workhorses, for sure, whether you're buying them by the bag or bunch. But try bagged carrots side by side with freshly harvested bunch carrots, which usually have their green tops attached. For sweetness, juiciness, and flavor, fresh is best.

CARROT AND DAL SALAD

SERVES 4 TO 6 (MAKES 4 CUPS) / 1 HOUR

This playful nod to Indian dal (legume
curry) is perfect at room temperature for a
1%, picnic or office lunch, but also great alongside
roasted lamb chops for dinner. It tastes
even better after a night in the fridge. Yellow
split peas look especially pretty here.

1 cup yellow split peas* or black beluga
lentils, sorted from any debris and rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp. lime juice
3/4 tsp. Madras curry powder
About 1/14 tsp. kosher salt, divided
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups peeled, very thinly sliced rainbow
carrots (from 1 1/2 lbs. with tops)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped green onions
About 1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Put split peas and bay leaf in a small
saucepan with water to cover by 1 in.
(1 1/2 in. for lentils). Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, then reduce heat to
a simmer and cook uncovered until just
tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together
lime juice, curry powder, and
1 tsp. salt. Whisk in oil; stir in carrots.

3. Drain peas and stir into carrot mixture.
Let cool at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally,
for carrots to soften a bit.

4. Stir in cilantro and green onions. Season
to taste with about 1/4 tsp. each salt and
pepper. Serve warm or cool.

* Find yellow split peas (not the same as Indian
chana dal, which looks similar but is split
chickpeas) and black beluga lentils at well-stocked
grocery stores.

MAKE ahead Up to 1 day, chilled.

PER SERVING 258 Col., 41% (106 Cal.) from fat;
9.1 g protein; 12 g fat (1.8 g sat.); 31 g carbo (12 g fiber);
393 mg sodium; 0 mg chol. GF/VG

WINE PAIRING A bright, aromatic pink like
Cypher 2014 "Pistil" Eclectic Rose (Paso
Robles; $24). The wine's spice makes the curry
pop; its citrus meets lime in the salad.--S.S.

CARROT GINGER TEA CAKE WITH LIME GLAZE

SERVES 9 TO 12/ 1 1/4 HOURS, PLUS 1 3/4 HOURS TO COOL

Taking a cue from our favorite juice bar combos, this dense,
not-too-sweet cake gets loads of moistness from both carrots and
carrot juice, and a hint of heat from two kinds of ginger. The lime
glaze adds a tangy kick.

1/4 cup melted butter, plus about
1 tsp. softened butter for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. each baking soda and kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup carrot juice
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger (use a box
grater or Microplane)
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrots (from
  about 3 medium orange carrots, peeled)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp. plus about 1 tsp. lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-in.
square pan, line bottom with parchment
paper, and butter it. Flour inside of pan,
tapping out excess. In a medium bowl,
whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking
powder, ground ginger, baking soda,
and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk granulated sugar,
1/4 cup melted butter, the oil, carrot juice,
eggs, and fresh ginger until combined.
Add flour mixture and whisk just until
smooth. Stir in carrots and scrape batter
into pan.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center
of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan on a rack
10 minutes. Run a paring knife around
edges to loosen, then turn out onto rack.
Turn right side up and let cool completely,
at least 1 3/4 hours.

4. In a small bowl, stir together powdered
sugar, lime zest, and 1 tbsp. lime juice
until smooth. Add more lime juice (about
1 tsp.) for a thick, flowing texture. Drizzle
over cake.

make ahead Through step 3, up to
1 day at room temperature or 1 month frozen
(let cool, then wrap well).

PER SERVING 253 Cal., 35% (88 Cal.) from fat;
3 g protein; 9.9 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 39 g carbo (1 g fiber);
231 mg sodium; 46 mg chol. LC/LS/V


Photography by IAIN BAGWELL
COPYRIGHT 2016 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:PEAK SEASON
Author:March, Charlotte
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 2016
Words:1300
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