|Photo: Tara Maxey|
You can find Heirloom Carrots at farmer's markets here in Southern California all year long. These here are from Windrose but we get most of ours from Mc Grath Farm. The darker varieties, although more striking to look at, have a more bitter taste yet according to Jo Robinson contain a higher nutritional value than their sweeter counterparts as is the case with most "wild" produce. So let's do something easy to get these prettier, healthier carrots on our dinner table.
ROASTED CARROT SALAD:
Take a large bunch of carrots and trim all but 1" of their stalk (the ones pictured are already trimmed so you'd just leave as is), then clean with a scrubby under water to remove dirt.
Blanch them in a large pot of salty boiling water for 4 minutes, then remove and drain on a paper towel. Let cool.
Once cool gently toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil (or coconut oil!) to coat.
Place carrots atop a heated grill or grill pan and cook and turn until crispy and delicately charred. Set aside and maybe toss with some raw arugula for contrast.
RAW CARROT SALAD:
Scrub carrots to remove dirt. Shave carrots in long strips with a peeler or a mandoline and immediately plunge in a large bowl of ice water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and then drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile score a whole ripe avocado and place it's chunks into a medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a generous amount of chopped soft herbs like cilantro and parsley.
Combine raw, drained carrots with the avocado mixture. Adding citrus segments and/or toasted nuts or pepitas would be a pretty.
On a platter, arrange the whole roasted carrots and arugula, if using, to nearly cover the plate and then mound on top the raw carrot salad with additional herbs and toasted nuts on top as garnish.