This was a quite a surprise I have to tell you. Last Saturday we had a “clear out the fridge” dinner. Anything that was left over from the week of shopping got cooked up. Well, pretty much everything.
I had some small carrots left over, and a big old bunch of radishes, that I hadn’t even used. I have a hard time with radishes. I never quite know what to do them. God knows why I bought them actually to be honest. A while back I did a recipe with them in, which had a great little marinade, and some beef. It was good, I liked it. Apart from that, I usually just toss them in salads. Their slightly bitter note with a decent peppery flavor.
So, anyhow. I had some carrots and radishes, and decided to put them together in a salad. I knew the radishes were going to be pretty crisp – I was going to have those raw. So why not play with textures and have the carrots softer. Ohh, I thought – I could glaze the carrots, which would make them softer than the radishes, and also slighty sweet – offsetting the bitter radishes. This was starting to sound good. Douse this in a few glugs of really good olive oil, and some apple cider vinegar – to add some sharpness, and a little sweetness further, and some parsley, and we have it made.
Turns out this was one of the best things I have ever done with a carrot. Everything went together so well. Nicely balanced. A good play with textures and sweet/bitter. Lovely.
So that is it. No profound messages or funny back stories, just a great little fresh spring salad that is a snap to make, and tastes great. I have already made it 3 times since then, and actually not changed anything. Which is pretty odd for me.
Carrot and Radish Salad
1 bunch of small carrots
1 small handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
really good olive oil
apple cider vinegar
finely ground sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of butter
a pinch of sugar
Gently scrub the carrots to remove any dirt. There is no need to peel these smallish carrots. Cut them into slices, across the carrot, on a bias, about 1/4″ thick.
Using a mandoline or Japanese slicer, cut the radishes really thinly into slices.
Put the carrots in a large saute pan. Put enough cold water into the pan to almost cover the carrots. Add the butter to this, and the pinch of sugar. Put a lid on the pan, and get it boiling over a high heat. Once boiling, remove the lid. Let this boil until the liquid has reduced right down, and the carrots are almost cooked through. The aim of this is to judge things perfectly. You have it spot on when the carrots are just about cooked through, and the liquid in the pan has been reduced right down to just a glaze on the carrots. If you find you have too much liquid in the pan, tip some of it out as it is cooking. The pan dries out before the carrots are cooked? Add a little more water. It might take a couple of goes to get the perfect glaze, but it is really worth it.
Let the carrots cool a little in the pan. When cooled, toss them in a bowl with the radish slices. Toss in the parsley, and a generous serving of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a good glug of olive oil, and a splash of of the cider vinegar.
I know, I am an arse. I am not giving you exact measurements. In this case you just cannot. The amount of oil depends on how much carrots and radishes you have. The amount of vinegar depends on this too, and how sharp your vinegar is. My suggestion is to add a little vinegar to start, and give it a taste. If you cannot taste the sharpness from the vinegar, then add a wee bit more. You can always add more, but you can never take it out if you add too much!
Finally toss in the parsley, and mix up. I like to let it sit for a few minutes before eating, just to let all the flavors get friendly.
This goes great with some grilled seafood, and bread.