by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich with David Nussbaum
from Lidia’s Family Table
Serves 6 or more
Carrots are an unappreciated standby. We tend to use them for everything, but rarely highlight them. This dish brings out their sparkle.—Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
1 1/2 pounds carrots
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint leaves
1. Peel and trim the carrots, and cut them into 3-inch lengths. Slice these lengthwise into wedges, all about 1/3-inch thick.
2. Pour 3 1/2 cups water and the vinegar into a 3- or 4-quart saucepan and set over high heat. Stir in the honey. When the water’s boiling, drop in the carrot wedges and cook, uncovered, at a good bubbling boil for 25 minutes, until cooked through but with some texture to the bite. Don’t let them get mushy.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat tossing them frequently until light gold; spill them onto a plate to cool.
4. When the carrots are cooked, lift them out of the pan with a spider; let them cool and drain in a colander. Keep the carrot-cooking liquid at the boil, and drop in the raisins; poach for about 5 minute until plump, then lift them out and let them cool and drain.
5. Boil the vinegar liquid vigorously now to reduce quickly — it will take 5 minutes or more — until only 1/4 cup or so of thick syrup remains in the pan. Lower the heat as the liquid level nears the pan bottom, and pour it into a cup or small bowl before it burns.
6. Put the carrots in a mixing bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the syrup and several pinches of salt. Let them marinate briefly. Before serving, toss the carrots with a tablespoon of olive oil, the pine nuts, the raisins, and the shredded mint leaves. Taste, and season with more salt if needed; if you want more dressing, add more oil or any remaining syrup. Arrange on a serving platter, or portion on salad plates.
Recipe © 2004 Tutti a Tavola LLC. All rights reserved.