Common Roots ...
Featherstone Farm, Rushford, MN
photo -- Mette Nielsen
When it comes to carrots, trust a kid to tell the difference between home grown and those shipped from far away. Years ago, when my boys were toddlers, they'd eat the fresh carrots right out of the CSA box as we headed home from the pick up site. It was a weekly gathering where I'd talk with our farmer, Meg Anderson, who knew how to pickle peppers or make a good corn stock. We'd hang out and chat as the kids tumbled on the lawn or chased each other into the back yard. On the way back, they'd reach into the box sometimes polishing off the raspberries before we got home. They loved those carrots, not even the sheen of dirt got kept then from crunching the, sweet roots -- a perfect summer snack. Loaded with Vitamin A, potassium, anti-aging and disease fighting phytnutrients, calcium and magnesium, carrots are low in calories. They're very pretty, too. Just don't eat the shoots and leaves. (You may find a recipe for them on the web, but they are toxic.)
When this fresh, carrots are best shredded and splashed with a little lime or orange juice in a slaw. This simple recipe keeps several days in the refrigerator. The texture will become less crunchy, but the flavors will mellow. Make and enjoy it now ... serve it on top of a sandwich or burger tomorrow.
Simple Carrot Slaw
Serves 6 to 8
1 pound carrots, cleaned and shredded
1/4 cup shredded onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup sunflower or olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pinch of pepper flakes, to taste
In a medium bowl, toss together the shredded carrots, onion, cranberries or cherries. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange rind, orange juice, lime juice, honey. Whisk in the oil. Taste and add more lime juice as needed. Toss enough of this dressing in with the carrots to lightly coat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.