At the farmers market, my beta-carotene buddies didn't just speak to me—they shouted with glee. "Pick me! Are we not the most colorful bunch of carrots you've ever seen? How excited are you to cook with us!" And finally, "can you not just roast us though? That's boring."
Ok, I conceded. But which to pick: the fat, rotund roots or the thin, delicate bunch? In a rush I grabbed the former, a decision I was grateful for later on: the thicker carrots peeled wonderfully for this quaint little side salad.
I loved this recipe because the ingredients are mainly pantry items, but the end result was so unique and delightful that I felt, flavor-wise, like I was experiencing something completely new. Pleasingly nutty, tangy and acidic, and kickin' in heat and honey; each ribbon packs quite the flavor punch. As the weather cools and our appetites gear up for heavier grub (stews, roasts, etc), think of this light, lithe carrot salad as a choice side to accompany that hearty fare. It's easy to evolve this side into a main too: just add spiced chickpeas and a heaping cup of cooked quinoa for an easy, healthy, and certainly colorful fall lunch or dinner.
Vinegar Carrots with Toasted Sesame Seeds (from The New Persian Kitchen)
1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sesame seeds and alternate between shaking the pan and stirring the seeds. When the seeds start to pop, after a couple of minutes, transfer them to a plate and let cool to room temperature.