I wanted an easy, colorful and delicious veggie to round out the plate, and I thought why not carrots? Their bright orange color would look good with the green cabbage and white (yes, I admit it was white) rice. Plus you can get them in a bag already washed and peeled. My husband was supposed to make them and he's not such a great cutter, so I thought he could just get a bag of baby carrots and slice each one in half lengthwise. Anyone can manage that, right? He did that, but then he couldn't think of what to do with them. I remembered a salad dressing I made some time ago that would be perfect to dress up the carrots. It's tart and sweet and I got the great idea to add finely shredded lovage to the dressing. Lovage has a sharp, slightly bitter taste similar to celery leaves, and is very refreshing. It perfectly balanced the vinegar and crystallized ginger and its deep green color looked really cool on the carrots. I had some of the leftover carrots for lunch today and they were fantastic. I'm going to make some ahead of time for a brunch we're having so they can marinate overnight.
Sweet and tart carrots
- one pound of ready-to-eat baby carrots
- 3 Tablespoons orange muscat champagne vinegar (or rice vinegar or wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons natural soy sauce, shoyu or tamari
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger pieces
- several lovage leaves, celery leaves or mint leaves
- Mix the first six ingredients in a small bowl. Finely cut the leaves and add to the bowl.
- Slice each carrot in half lengthwise.
- Steam carrots in a small amount of water until tender-crisp, or however you like them.
- Arrange the carrots in a dish and pour the dressing over.
About the lovage. I have no idea why I originally planted lovage. I like growing herbs and probably thought it sounded like a cool plant to grow. It's been growing for about 15 years - faithfully coming back year after year with no help whatsoever from me. Some years I even forget to eat any of it. This year it has reproduced itself, and has appeared in another garden spot much more convenient for picking. Such a clever plant. It grows about three to five feet high and I find it rather attractive and tasty. It tastes a lot like celery.