Sneak Peak: Caribbean Carrot and Mango Salad Recipe from My New eBook

Caribbean Carrot and Mango Salad ©2014 La Domestique

Bonjour! Today I’ve got a recipe sneak peak to share with you from my new eBook, “Deliciously Healthy Summer.” Here in Ireland summer has vanished in an instant. The light is softer and the sun seems to linger shyly on the horizon. A fresh breeze whips through the trees and I’m pulling out the jackets and tights. It may be a bit sad to say goodbye to summer, but I do think this glimpse of autumn feels like heaven. Though the weather is changing I believe we have yet to see the peak of summer harvest here in Ireland, so you’ve still got a month or two to enjoy recipes from “Deliciously Healthy Summer.” 

My Caribbean Carrot and Mango Salad is inspired by flavours I discovered in St. Lucia on my honeymoon 7 years ago. The food was unlike anything I had ever experienced in the United States, where I’m from. My husband and I stayed at a beautiful beachside resort called Anse Chastanet. Each day we enjoyed lunch on the beach, a buffet featuring spicy curries alongside refreshing salads reminiscent of the recipe I share with you today. Caribbean cuisine is a mix of influences, including European, Indian, Asian and Creole. The food was bold, colourful and healthy– exactly what you would want on a beach vacation.  

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Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup (c)2013 La Domestique

A few weeks ago I photographed this Roasted Carrot Soup recipe for a client and I’ve been on a pureed vegetable soup kick ever since. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and squash add a pop of color to the soup bowl that’s most welcome during the grey days of winter. Try potato, celery root, or cauliflower for an elegant bowl of silky cream-colored soup. For years I’ve used the base recipe for How to Make Pureed Vegetable Soups from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School cookbook. Martha’s method involves three steps: sauté the aromatics (like onion and garlic), add the base vegetable and simmer in stock, puree the soup. The technique is simple and open to endless variations. You can use homemade vegetable or chicken stock in the soup, but I find water works just fine and lets the pure vegetable flavor shine. I can’t share the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe here, but I can tell you that the technique for slicing the carrots and roasting them in the oven (along with a head of garlic wrapped in foil) really pumped up the flavor. To make the puree I placed the roasted garlic cloves in a blender with the carrot, sautéed shallots and fresh ginger, and water. You can always thin a pureed vegetable soup if it’s too thick, so be judicious with the liquids until you’ve got the right consistency. The beauty of pureed vegetable soups is their ability to be rich and velvety without any cream or added thickeners. Finish the soup with a garnish of fresh herbs, good olive oil, or a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar.  

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This Past Week at La Domestique: Carrots

(instagram)Carrots harvested from my garden (c)2011 LaDomestique

This past week at La Domestique we celebrated a big carrot harvest from my Colorado community garden plot. The beautiful flavor of a fresh, sweet summer carrot is often in the shadow of the more popular tomatoes and zucchini. Cook in the moment and take the opportunity to enjoy carrots at their very best right now.

In case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap for you!

Monday:  Announcing carrots as the ingredient of the week on videocast.

Tuesday:  10 Ways Tuesday! Creative ways to cook with carrots during summer.

Wednesday:  Cook in the moment with a recipe for Carrot Soup with Moroccan Seasoning, Ginger, Oregano & Lime.

Thursday:  The story behind carrots: growing, buying, storing, cooking and flavor pairing.

Friday:  Making pickled carrots for the Vietnamese sandwich, bánh-mì.

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Pickled Carrots with a Vietnamese Sandwich

Let’s wrap up carrot week with a quick pickle and a flavorful sandwich that’s sure to shake up your packed lunch routine. As I searched for fun ways to use an abundance of carrots from my garden, I was inspired by a recipe for Do Chua found in the cookbook, Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff. She describes do chua as “probably the most common quick pickle on the Vietnamese table.” A quick pickle is one that’s not processed for long term preserving, and so the jar must be kept refrigerated and used up in a shorter time before it goes bad. Do Chua is carrot and Daikon radish pickled in salt, sugar, and distilled white vinegar. Liana Krissoff writes that the Vietnamese use  do chua as a dipping sauce (a small bowl where a few of the vegetables float in the brine), eaten as a side dish, and it’s a traditional ingredient in the famous bánh-mì sandwich.

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Storyboard: Carrots

Carrot StoryBoard (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

Growing Carrots

This is my first year growing vegetables in a community garden plot and I’ve really enjoyed cultivating carrots. My 10×20 foot plot is separated into 3 mini-plots, one of which I devoted to carrots and beets this spring. I grew multicolored varieties ranging from orange to yellow to purple and they are all tasty! As a first time gardener, I was surprised at how difficult it was to pull the mature carrot from the ground. Pretty much a two person job. After many failed tries where I yanked on the carrot top with all my strength and flew 10 feet across the garden, I sought help from a strong neighbor. He had a smart method which involved him shoving a pitch fork into the ground at an angle to force the carrots upwards while I pulled. We had the whole bed harvested in no time at all. As I pulled the carrots from the ground I was completely overwhelmed by their aroma- so fresh, green, and earthy. Once you’ve experienced this scent, you’ll truly understand the allure of the Apiaceae family of vegetables.

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