A few days ago, Laura and I picked up a nice slab of haddock. It was a two pound fillet that was caught somewhere in the north Atlantic. Living near the coast has its perks – we get fresh wild fish that was shipped in the same day it came off the boat. In this case, haddock it was. It was a steal too at only $6.99 per pound.
Anyway, since we were having fish, I thought a nice vegetable side dish would go well with it. I already had a recipe for a pretty sweet carrot salad in my pocket, so that was my inspiration for the completed dinner. All I needed to do was grab the ingredients.
I learned something during the preparation of this dish. I learned that the best method for softening carrots is to boil and then simmer them for just ten short minutes. In the past, I’ve roasted and fried carrots, which wasn’t nearly as efficient. Roasting does give a nice brown to them, as does frying, but both of those methods take forever to get the job done. If you boil the carrots to initially soften them and then fry them, you can acquire the same results as the previous two methods – a lot faster. The recipe below doesn’t call for any browning, so I’ll keep this new technique in may back pocket for another time.
This side dish is awesome. I’ll warn you – you need to really love carrots because there’s a lot of them. You also really need to love flavor, because this recipe calls for a fairly good amount of spice. It also calls for cilantro, which I’m not usually a fan of, but that works well here. Onion, garlic and scallions really top things off to round out an exciting side that would be perfect to go along with a holiday dinner.
2 Pounds Carrots, Peeled and Cut into 3-Inch Strips
1/3 Cup Regular Olive Oil
1 Medium Sized Red Onion, Chopped
1 Teaspoon White Sugar
3 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1 Bunch Scallions, Sliced into 1/4-Inch Pieces
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
Regular Table Salt
2 1/2 Cups Fresh Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
I’d like to thank Yotam Ottolenghi and his cookbook called Plenty for this recipe. This is the second I’ve prepared in just a few days and I’ve been thrilled with both of them.
Boil the Water
Fill a large pot half-way with water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
While the water is coming to a boil, trim both ends off all of the carrots. Then, peel each one. Cut them across so you have pieces that measure about 3 inches. Then, set the thinner pieces to the side. Cut the fatter pieces in quarters lengthwise and place in a medium sized bowl.
Cook the Carrots
When the water comes to a boil, add the carrots to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Then, allow the carrots to simmer in the water for 10 minutes. When finished, each one should be semi-soft. Pour the contents of the pot into a colander to dry.
Brown the Onion
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is to temperature, add in the olive oil. Then, add in the chopped onion and cook, while stirring, anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes. What you want is a nice brown on the onions for flavor.
When the onions are finished, add the garlic to the skillet, stir, and cook for just 1 more minute. Then, turn off the heat.
At this point, you can add the carrots to the skillet and mix them with the onions and garlic. Then, add the sugar, scallions, cloves, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, vinegar and salt to the skillet and mix until all the ingredients are coated with the spices.
Finally, add in the cilantro and stir everything together well.
The Final Dish
Below is a photo of this carrot salad still in the skillet.
When I plated some of the ingredients into separate bowls, I added a dollop of yogurt to each one. That was a nice topping and was perfect to dip the carrots into.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did. If you decide to try it, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!