Love your Roots
Carrots: the crunchy and colourful root whose name derives from the Greek word “karoton”. You see, “kar” comes from the word “keras”, and it was used to describe anything that had a horn-like shape! These little earth dwellers called carrots are so rich in antioxidants and nutrients; they are basically a shield of cardiovascular, eye, and liver health.
Make sure you buy organic baby colourful carrots with their green tops attached. On one of my recent trips to California, I came across vegetable stands that would sell the carrot stems separately, as the new culinary trend suggests making them into a lovely, alternate pesto sauce.
Other great news about carrots is that, even if you steam, blanch, or boil them, the average loss of six different minerals contained in them (potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium) is less than 25%. The combination of baby carrots with truffle oil and Pecorino cheese is a delicious appetizer or side dish that I like to serve beside a main course such as poultry, game or beef.
Baby Carrots with Truffle Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1½ tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons truffle oil
1 kg baby carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
80 g Pecorino cheese, shaved
20 g parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
1. For the vinaigrette: Place the mustard and lemon juice, olive and truffle oil in a small bowl with a ½ teaspoon of salt. Whisk together until combined.
2. For the carrots: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the carrots, and cook for 4 minutes, until just cooked but still retaining a bite.
3. Rinse the carrots briefly under cold water and set aside to drain before transferring to a serving plate.
4. Over the top of the carrots, sprinkle the cheese, parsley, hazelnuts, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Pour the vinaigrette over all and serve.
Serves 4 to 6