You won’t think there are easy recipes using simply a handful of ingredients in Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook NOPI, but there are. When you get the best and freshest seasonal ingredients, like these yellow and burgundy baby carrots with sinewy roots and bushy leaves like they have just been pulled from the soil, you don’t need much help from any supporting actors. I guess, that’s the essence of the dish.
However, this recipe calls for truffle oil to make the dressing, which I don’t have on hand. I skipped it and went with the simple combination of olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Other than that, I stayed true to the recipe. Sprinkle on top some Parmesan or Belper Knolle, a Swiss cheese made from raw milk of the Simmental cow as suggested in the headnote of the recipe, for some salty flavor and finish with some fresh herbs and nigella seeds.
The carrots were cooked in boiling water for 4 minutes. They may be cooked a tad too long, the carrots were no longer crunchy. I really like the crunchy goodness of fresh carrots, especially eating them in my hand, like finger food.
For the second batch of baby carrots, I roasted them in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes. The roasted carrots were flavorful and smoky. My husband preferred the roasted carrots in a side-by-side taste test. However, I think I might have overworked the baby carrots too much, the freshness and earthiness has faded a tad too much.
In the end, I have more questions than I have answers for. Boiling or roasting the baby carrots? I’m leaning toward and deferring to the lighter treatment by the master chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. Boil the baby carrots to maintain their purity and freshness, maybe in shorter time than 4 minutes. Regardless, they are all good — simple, delicate and earthy goodness from mother nature.
|Roasted baby carrots|
|Boiled baby carrots|