Over the last nine months I’ve been working for Schenectady Greenmarket. In that time, my life has changed quite a bit. One main area of change is my kitchen. Sure, I have always been a pretty ardent home-cook, rarely eating out, rarely purchasing prepared foods – but I haven’t the kind of person that eats truly seasonally. All that has changed since now most of my grocery shopping is done on Sundays as I run around the market.
Among the celeriac, beets and kohlrabi, there has been one humble reawakening – carrots. This cooked carrot salad is now a staple of my weekly dinners and lunches. It brings sunshine and warmth to my day regardless if it is actually sunny outside (and -12) or snowing.
Spicy Cooked Carrot Salad
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 lb. carrots – diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t. sweet paprika
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped parsley
1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
1. Boil the carrots in salted water until tender but not soft (about 3 minutes).
2. In a large bowl, smash the garlic with a pinch of salt. Stir in the paprika, hot pepper flakes and lemon juice. Whisk in the oil.
3. Add the carrots and half the feta cheese. Toss until fully combined. Sprinkle the remaining feta on top and serve.
This salad is wonderful on its own for lunch, perfect wrapped up in a pita with falafel or grilled chicken and amazing served for dinner next to some freshly grilled chorizo.
Yesterday I went over to a friend’s house for lunch. It was kind of impromptu so I pulled together a dish that was sure to please, but easy enough to make with what I had on hand, beans and greens. For those of you who have never had it before, beans and greens is a dish that is quick, soul-satisfying, filling…and cheap. Below is the recipe, from start to finish it may take about fifteen to twenty minutes. What I have written would make a good lunch for two or sides for four. Because I was feeding more than two, but only had one can of beans, I added a diced up zuchinni for extra bulk. Enjoy!
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t. thyme
1 t. red pepper flakes
3/4 c. kale stems cut into 1/4 inch pieces
leaves from the kale cut into thin slices (like a chiffinad)
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 can white beans (small white beans or cannalini beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 shredded romano cheese
- In a large saute pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and cook for about three to four minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in kale stems and cook for another three minutes or until the onions begin to look translucent. Mix in the kale leaves and add the thyme and red pepper. (If you are going to add another vegetable like diced zuchinni, now would be the time).
- When kale is tender, stir in the drained can of beans. Once warmed through, mix in the diced tomatoes and let cook through (approx. 5 minutes) stirring occassionally.
- Remove from heat and add romano cheese. Serve.