Carota – Carrot in Italy #3 – Roasted Carrot Appetizer & Competition

March 19th, 2010 / comments 10

We had been invited to a gathering on Sunday afternoon and I roasted the last of the carrots as a base for a hearty carrot spread I took to share.

carrot on blue c egbert Carota   Carrot in Italy #3   Roasted Carrot Appetizer & CompetitionI haven’t figured out what to call it but it was delicious. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Carota – Carrots in Italy # 1 – Carrot Mint Salad

March 17th, 2010 / Comments 0

When I was seven, I liked to eat carrots with vinegar. I would peel a carrot and dip it into a small glass of cider vinegar between each bite. When the carrot was gone, I drank the vinegar. I thought it was wonderful. My sister thought I was out of my mind.

ZPV carrots 01 c egbert Carota   Carrots in Italy # 1   Carrot Mint SaladMy interest in carrots may have been sparked by my desire to be able to read in the dark. I had learned from my mother that carrots were a rich source of carotene, also known as vitamin A, the vitamin that improves night vision. She was living in London, spending nights in the underground, during the Battle of Britain. One night, while waiting for the all-clear siren to sound, she was told that the common carrot would help the Allies win the war. This is the story that she often served with boiled carrots:  “In an attempt to mislead the Germans about their radar capabilities, the Royal Air Force circulated a story that British pilots were able to see in the dark because they ate enormous quantities of carrots. That is why many Britons, who anxious to improve their night vision because of the wartime blackouts, grew and ate so many carrots.”

I moved on from dipping carrots in vinegar to dipping carrots in hummus and blue cheese dressing and to using carrots in soups and stews. Carrots were a way to add a bit of taste and color but I didn’t consider them a vegetable with star power.

 Carota   Carrots in Italy # 1   Carrot Mint SaladBefore I came to Sicily, I thought of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, artichokes and mushrooms as Italian vegetables. Carrots were the wrong color for my red, white and green Italian palette. But, since my daily trips to the market, I have changed my mind. The carrots in the market are freshly pulled, sweet and crisp with attached greens that attest to their freshness. Carrots are no longer merely supporting players, edible utensils used to transport tasty bites from bowl to mouth. They shine as the primary ingredient in appetizers, soups and salads. I used carrots, honey and mint to make a salad that I served with baked salmon. Here’s how I did it:
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Honey Strawberry Sandwich & Minted Carrot Salad

February 20th, 2010 / comments 12

Honey in the morning, honey in the evening. Honey is a staple in my Sicilian kitchen.  I drizzled this light, delicately scented gift from the bees onto rustic breakfast sandwiches.
Pt a honey bee c egbert Honey Strawberry Sandwich & Minted Carrot Salad

Assembly was a breeze – toasted crusty ciabatta bread + a layer of marscapone + strawberry slices + honey = sticky fingers and a delicious way to start the day.

strawberry honey sandwich Honey Strawberry Sandwich & Minted Carrot Salad

For a simple salad to accompany pasta minted carrot salad was a perfect contrast. I put it together before I began to cook the pasta so that the dressing would wilt the carrots a bit. Here’s how I did it: … read more

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