Carrots are like a quiet but secretly remarkable child who doesn’t attract much attention. Most often they’re simply what you throw into a soup or a braised dish to “add a little sweetness.” But it’s because of that inner sweetness that they’re so suited to roasting or charring on a chapa (see notes). The sugar caramelizes and produces a delicious crust. These charred carrots are tossed with nutty garlic chips, peppery arugula, and creamy goat cheese.–Francis Mallmann
The French have a saying, “You must watch what you’re cooking like milk on the stove,” referring, of course, to the fact that milk can boil over in a flash. Case in point: Garlic chips are sweet and nutty when cooked just right, but let them go just a little too long, and they become burnt and acrid.
A chapa is a flat piece of cast iron set over a fire. Alternatively, you can use a cast-iron skillet or griddle placed over a barbecue grate, which is in turn placed over a wood, charcoal, or gas fire.
Burnt Carrots, Goat Cheese, and Garlic Chips
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 8
- For the garlic chips
- 4 garlic cloves, as large as possible, peeled
- 1 cup olive oil
- For the charred carrots
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 medium carrots (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- 2 bunches arugula, trimmed, washed, and dried
- 6 ounces Bûcheron or similar goat cheese, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Crispy Garlic Chips
- Make the vinaigrette
- 1. Pour the vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in 5 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Make the garlic chips
- 2. Using a small slicer or a mandoline, slice the garlic very thin.
- 3. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Line a plate with two paper towels. To test the temperature of the oil, add a slice of garlic. If it sizzles, add the rest of the garlic and cook until just crisp and light golden brown, a matter of seconds. Use a flat slotted skimmer to keep the slices from sticking together as they cook, and transfer them to the paper towels to drain the moment they turn color. (The oil can be strained and used for another batch or reserved for another use.)
- Make the charred carrots
- 4. Cut the carrots crosswise in half, then cut the halves into thick rough sticks. Toss in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
- 5. Heat a chapa or large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the carrots in a single layer and cook, without turning, until they are charred on the bottom and almost burned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more, adjusting the heat as necessary, until they are charred and crunchy on the outside and tender within. Transfer to a tray. Wipe out the skillet, if using, and set aside.
- 6. Combine the parsley and arugula on a large serving platter and toss lightly with half the vinaigrette. Place the charred carrots on top.
- 7. Reheat the chapa or skillet to very high heat and coat with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Immediately add the slices of goat cheese: be careful—the oil may spatter. As soon as you see the cheese blacken on the bottom, remove the slices with a thin spatula and invert onto the charred carrots. Toss the garlic chips over the salad and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.