Although I often plan meals carefully, some dishes and menus come about sort of accidentally. I hate to waste food, so track our fresh fruit and vegetable supply in order to serve foods as close to their peak of freshness as possible. A few weeks ago, a bag of fresh, peeled, petite carrots proved very disappointing--not very sweet or appealing. So, I had planned to lightly cook and season them, but cooked carrots did not fit well into the next few nights' meal plans. Planning to enjoy BLTs with some yummy tomatoes and a partial pack of bacon left from making something else, I went on-line to search for carrot salad recipes.
The most promising recipe, Pea and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette sounded nice, but shallots aren't a staple in this refrigerator (and I had no intention of running to the store). After several other changes to the recipe, I came up with a salad Mark and I both enjoyed. The amounts are approximate and can be adjusted to your family's taste preferences. If you are interested in the original recipe or in the nutrition facts, go to www.foodfit.com.
Pea and Carrot Salad
2 cups raw baby carrots, chopped in 1/2" chunks
3 cups frozen petite green peas
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Tblsp. snipped fresh parsley
dash of salt
generous grinding of black pepper
1. Steam (or boil) chopped carrots for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender, but still crisp. Stir peas into same pot of hot water just enough to thaw them and drain off water immediately (the peas will taste very fresh and sweet this way).
2. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar together. Stir in chopped onion, then whisk olive oil in, mixing well. Stir in snipped parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Gently toss the peas and carrots in the vinaigrette and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Question of the day: Do you tend to follow recipes, read and then adapt them, or make up your own dishes without a recipe?