Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shaved Carrot and Fennel Salad

Eating locally has turned me into a carrot-lover. For the longest time, carrots meant only one thing to me: bor-ing. I'd buy them cheap from Albertson's for mirepoix, and sometimes succumb to the convenience and "health" of the faux baby carrots to pack in my lunch, but that was the extent of the Erin-carrot relationship.

All has changed. Whether inspired by Lady Tottington or sucked in by the reds, yellows and oranges at the farmers' market, carrots have become my go-to vegetable and snack this month. They've still made their way into my lunches (and my soup), but the sweet, crunchy ones fresh from the ground are an entirely different than the "babies" I'd been buying.

This shaved salad is my latest carrot adventure, thanks to "The Edge of Greatness" in the LA Times, an article exalting thin wisps of veggies. This method worked brilliantly on the carrots--the strips maintained a crispness without the hard crunch of a bigger piece. It's also a nice visual without the hard work of cutting the carrots into small sticks or some other complicated shape.

Shaved Carrot and Fennel Salad

Pick a handful of red, yellow and orange carrots (about 4-5, depending on size) and scrub 'em up good. Peel a layer off the yellow and orange to discard if you absolutely have to, but you'll want the outside peels of your red carrots in the salad, because their insides are orange. Continuing peeling the carrots in long strips into a bowl until you're left with nubbins and/or you skin your knuckles.

Next, take 1/2 a washed fennel bulb with the outside layers removed and shave off thin pieces--I think I did about 20 or so. You can and should adjust to your taste, though remember in such small pieces the fennel isn't nearly as pungently licorice. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the whole mess, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and largish-grained sea salt. Toss together and enjoy.

Erin's Kitchen Index: Soups, Salads, and Veggies


Ivonne said...

Wow! Look at those colours!

Great recipe, Erin. It looks so crisp and refreshing it would be hard to resist.

petra said...

This looks fabulous! I am inspired.
Thank you.

Anah said...

I'm so proud of you! I bought the book we talked about, "Omnivore's Dilemma" and have been fascinated with it. Amazing and crazy. Also, this week was the first week of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) so we got a nice bag of goodies...fresh asparagus, green onions, spinach, rhubarb...we made an awesome rhubarb tart, some great salads and stir-fry. Eggs start next week. It's such a great deal- Tara, Robby and I split a "share" and for weekly bags, May-November, it's only $400 total.

Rorie said...

So pretty! I'm sure its delicious as well - love the idea of the flavors of carrots and fennel together - yum.