I love my CSA, I do, but sometimes, the vegetables, they just stack up. Especially when the farm’s producing root vegetables — gorgeous, sweet, root vegetables — but I am in full-on summertime tomato-pepper-corn mode. So, the root vegetables get ignored. They wait patiently in the back of the crisper — because among their many lovely virtues, they keep — until I can deal with them.
Yesterday I finally did. I pulled out the nine beets, the seven turnips and the four kohlrabi, I peeled and chopped and shredded and pickled and roasted. And then when I had packed most of it away for future salads and pasta toppings, I turned to what was left and made a salad for my dinner.
A week of cocktails with this view:
And meals with this view:
Meant we really didn’t care that all our food came off this truck:
But when we came home, we were certainly craving something simple and fresh like this:
Welcome Home Carrot Salad
This is less a recipe than a reminder: sometimes giving an old familiar ingredient a different treatment makes it fresh. And if you’re feeling veg-deprived, this is an easy way to eat a lot of carrots.
One pound of carrots
1/4 – 1/3 cup (to taste) of your favorite vinaigrette (we like this with a particularly lemony dressing)
fresh parsley, to taste
Shred the carrots with a box grater or in a food processor. Toss with the dressing and parsley and serve.
“Mama,” he said quietly, sneaking up behind me, “I want to make a recipe.”
I looked around the kitchen. My dad was messily stirring together a batch of carrot muffins, while Tony was assembling a marinade for the mushrooms we were taking to a barbecue later that day. I had an apricot-upside down cake in the oven and two lined strainers — one of ricotta cheese, one of vanilla ice cream — dripping into bowls. I pictured pouring the whey into the ice cream machine, the unhappy grimaces at sour ice cream, and made a mental note to try not to confuse them.
There was a time when flying home to San Francisco after a visit to my east coast family would leave my kids so crazed with jet lagged — and me so exhausted from their 3 AM wake ups — that I could fall asleep while they were jumping on me. Those were the days when I added espresso powder to the cookie dough — and then didn’t share those power-packed cookies with the kids.
The farmer’s market is full of spring vegetables these days — asparagus and peas, artichokes and strawberries — but we’re still having cool days that make me crave wintery ingredients. So I was happy to see a new salad recipe in my CSA share; I’ve modified the recipe just a bit here, for a salad that combines dark kale and bright oranges to point toward spring.