This time of year there are plenty of large carrots available – it’s the end of the winter root growing season. But these mature roots tend to be a bit tough and woody. This recipe is the perfect use for those large, tough root vegetables, and it’s especially delicious with carrots. As an added bonus, you’ve got 2 other recipes (one for herbed feta and one for an amazing lemon oil) wrapped into this one! They are fantastic together and equally useful in their own right.
Recipe: Carrot Fries with herbed feta cheese and lemon oil
Serves about 3
For herbed Feta cheese crumble
Chopped fresh herbs, combination of parsley, thyme and a little mint is great
Dried Mediterranean-styled seasoning (I use TSTE® Tuscany Blend*)
For the carrots
1 pound large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces similar to “steak-fries”
2 cups peanut oil
Lemon Oil, to dress or dip (recipe follows)
*I use and recommend spices and spices blends for The Spice & Tea Exchange®
**Pan-searing flour is basically a fine milled flour called “Wondra” flour. It may be difficult to find, but fret not. Make your own by combining ¼-cup all purpose flour with some kosher or coarse sea salt (about 1 teaspoon) and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pulse until everything is super fine. Cover and refrigerate; use as needed.
Place fresh herbs in the bottom of a non-reactive bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add feta cubes on top, then layer in fresh herbs and season with a Mediterranean-style seasoning blend, like TSTE® Tuscany Blend. Drizzle with olive oil; cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to 2 days. Remove fresh herbs if storing feta for longer period.
Steam carrot “fries” in microwave for about 3 minutes (cover bowl with plastic wrap (cling film to properly steam)). Dab excess moisture from carrots with paper towel. Toss with pan-searing flour.
Heat peanut oil in a heavy duty skillet until shimmering. Pan fry carrots until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and season with a sea salt blend, such as TSTE® Florida Sunshine. Mound on a warmed plate and top with herbed feta cheese; drizzle with lemon oil or serve on the side for dipping. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Lemon Oil
Makes about 1 cup
1 small lemon, coarsely chopped
Place olive oil and lemon into a high speed blender and process for about 30 seconds. Let the emulsion sit in the blender for about 1 hour for the flavor to develop. Taste. It should be bright and acidic. Season with a bit of sea salt if desired. Store in the refrigerator covered for about 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using (whisk to re-emulsify). Use in vinaigrettes, as a dressing for salads, as a sauce for fish or mix into pre-made, store-bought condiments and sauces.