March has found me with a bounty of new cookbooks: Ottolenghi and Tender I and II from colleagues at my old office, and Kinfolk Table and Vegetable Literacy from myself (new jobs = new things, right?). The timing is perfect – now that we’re in the final ramp-up for spring (day light savings, I resent you every year but that extra evening sunlight is a glorious thing), I want new recipes to match the changing weather. While I assemble my latest to-make list for the coming weeks, I’ve been gravitating to simple recipes that feel spring-like without relying on fiddleheads and asparagus. Cue my latest great discovery: carrots with caraway seeds, garlic, and parsley.
This carrot side is speedy and unexpected – sweet from the carrots, tart from the lemon, lightened by the parsley and grounded by the garlic and caraway seeds. (Also: caraway seeds?! I’m used to them in the rye bread that’s spoiled me for all other rye breads, but hadn’t encountered them with vegetables before. Such a happy discovery.) Pair these carrots with a roast, or make them a one-bowl dinner by serving them over quinoa or barley. Leftovers? Chop them up and fold them into your morning eggs. Or be like me this evening, and eat them straight from the dish while chatting on the phone with a friend from home. Simple, delicious, and springlike for all that I was looking out onto a yard covered in snow – I was standing in sunlight the whole time.
Notes: Don’t kill yourself with the mortar-and-pestling. An un-smushed caraway seed is a pretty thing and completely inoffensive to chew on.
Carrots with Caraway Seeds, Garlic, and Parsley
slightly adapted from Vegetable Literacy
~1lb carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
salt and pepper
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 large clove garlic, chopped into a few pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 quarter of a lemon (or a few tsp of lemon juice)
1. Place the carrot chunks in a medium pot. Cover with cold water and add a scant tsp of salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover, simmering, until just tender (12-15 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, place the caraway seeds, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil, and 2 tbsp parsley together in a mortar. Smash with a pestle until the garlic and many of the seeds are blended. Set aside until the carrots are done.
3. Drain the carrots and return them to the pot for a few minutes – this will dry any clinging moisture. Toss with 1 tbsp oil, the seed mixture, and a few grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle with the last 2 tbsp of parsley, and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve warm.