Wednesday, November 09, 2011

burnt carrots with parsley and garlic chips

By Julie

I hope I'm not the only one that seems to always have an endless bag of carrots in the fridge. One whose date of purchase I can only dare to guess. I don't give carrots too much thought for most of the year. My mom has the best roasted carrot recipe of the earth that I bring out around Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, and then there are the normal roasted root vegetable dishes that I throw together the rest of the winter. In the summer, they're lucky if I remember to grate them over some oh-shit-I-forgot-about-that-lettuce salads. (Oh shit, I have an aging head of lettuce in the fridge right now.)
Enter this recipe. It apparently coming from Argentinian origins, I couldn't resist. I see South American cuisine mentioned anywhere and I'm sold. And since I desperately needed to get rid of those unsightly, ancient (but still good! not floppy!) carrots, this seemed the perfect fit. Quickly cooked, charred, seasoned simply, and topped with one of the best ways to eat garlic.
I would have like to have made this on a grill. The weather has been so so wonderful. I just did it inside, though because I didn't make any other dishes to go along with it. Weekends never really include lunch for me, just a snack, like these carrots. If you are in the grilling mood and are making dinner, this would go so well with steak (with chimichurri!).
Some day I hope to travel to South America. That's kind of a dumb statement - like a foreigner saying they want to visit North America. What does that even mean?? But regardless, I do hope it. I have a tourist-y desire to visit Machu Picchu. Have I mentioned how much I like old things? And hiking, duh. I don't really like other tourists, so that might not be ideal. Patagonia?
burnt carrots with parsley and garlic chips 
adapted from Francis Mallmann's Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way 

The original recipe called for the carrots to be served on top of arugula - awesome I'm sure, I just didn't have any. It also involved fried goat cheese slices. Holy crap. Again, didn't have any.

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

8 medium carrots, peeled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or dried
coarse sea salt and pepper
leaves from 1/2 bunch parsley

garlic chips
4 - 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil

1. To make the dressing, whisk 4 tablespoons of the olive oil into the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Cut the carrots in have widthwise, then into sticks. Cutting them into quarters lengthwise did the trick for the most part, although if the larger half of the carrot is kinda thick, then 6ths is good. Toss in a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, and coarse sea salt and pepper to taste.

3. Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat. Add carrots in a single layer and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until blackened. Flip and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, lowering the heat a tid if the pan is getting too, too hot. Do this in batches if necessary - I did two. The carrots should be tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

4. Adjust the heat on the burner to medium high and carefully wipe out the cast iron pan. Heat the oil and add the garlic (test one slice to make sure the oil is hot enough). Cook until the garlic just begins to turn brown - several seconds, tops. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Don't let the garlic get too brown, it'll keep cooking after you've scooped it out. They burn really easily and then are gross.

5. Toss the carrots with the parsley and dressing to taste. Top with garlic chips.

Try not to eat all of them in one sitting, by yourself. I almost did.

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