The Three Cs: Carrots, Cumin, and Coriander

Carrots, lower left.

I started cooking lunch for some ladies (with paying jobs) on Thursdays and I made one of my standbys, having not much in the fridge that day. I always seem to have carrots, so this is what we ate. Anyone who has ever eaten at my house has probably had these. I’m posting the recipe for my hard-working lady friends, who asked for it.

INGREDIENTS
Carrots: the best you can find. They are the star!
Cumin: preferably whole (toasted in pan until fragrant – no oil – then crushed while warm) or ground cumin if you must.
Coriander: FRESH only. Parsley if no coriander is available.
Sweetener: brown rice sugar, agave, sugar, honey, etc.
Lemon: One, freshly squeezed. Don’t use that stuff that comes in a plastic lemon or I will come to your house and hurt you.
Salt: anything but iodized.
Garlic: again, FRESH. Don’t use pre-minced or you will ruin this.
Olive Oil: preferably Spanish, Greek, or Turkish, preferably from a can or glass, not plastic. Nothing else will do. The stronger the better. Make sure it too is FRESH. Old olive oil tastes like plastic flip flops.

WHAT TO DO
• Cook peeled carrots in boiling water. Take them off heat before they become mushy. Strain, spread out on cutting board, and cool.
• Meanwhile, mash up one clove of de-germed garlic with a bit of kosher salt in your mortar & pestle. Don’t have one? Then use your fine cheese shredder and moosh in your salt. Carry on, mixing in lemon, cumin, sweetener, and beat in while pouring, your olive oil, adding enough oil so that the lemon is abated; you don’t want the dressing to be loose, watery, or too lemony. Add pepper or better yet, Turkish pepper flakes. Just a touch of those. Don’t substitute.
• When cool, cut carrots on the bias and in small bite-sized shapes. I don’t like the way these look when they are cut into coins; it reminds me of school lunch and boiled dinners. Blech.
• Chop up the washed coriander, finely, including the stems if they aren’t too tough.
• Throw it all together, adding whatever you need to make it taste good.

This is yum on the 2nd day when all the flavors have absorbed into the carrots. A couple days later spoon then over some fresh spinach, adding walnuts and/or goat cheese.

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