This year I’ve had my first successful batch of grown-from-seed carrots consistently popping up in my garden and they have been so fun to dig up and play around with in the kitchen. The multi-colored variety makes salads particularly charming, especially when paired up with fellow garden dwellers of mint and jalapeno.
I had originally found this recipe in a Food Network Magazine but took my own twist on it based on some other flavors I love with carrots. You get a great mix of tangy, sweet, and salty flavors with just enough heat to keep you going back for more. This salad also makes for a yummy and filling leftover lunch when paired with a little leftover grilled meat or a chunk of baguette.
Carrot Cashew Salad with Feta
adapted from Food Network
2-3 oz crumbled feta
1-2 Tbsp mint
1/3 C + 2 Tbsp lightly salted cashew pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup water
Slice or shave carrots into very thin pieces and place in a bowl. A vegetable peeler or mandolin can create consistent thickness. Add mint leaves, feta and 2 Tbsp of cashew pieces. Meanwhile, puree cashews in a small food processor with oil and jalapeno. Puree in lime juice and water until almost smooth. Pour dressing over carrots and toss lightly. Season with salt to taste.
In my attempts to broaden my gardening horizons I tried my hand at starting pole beans from seed, lured in by the appeal of an Italian heirloom variety called Trionfo Violetto. Last year my seedlings got hijacked by some greedy rabbit or squirrel but this year, I have four strong plants. The first round of my purple beans was finally ready this week and they are a thing of beauty. Something about eating richly colored purple beans is just that much sexier than everyday green beans, don’t you think?
Since my first picking had enough for a little over one serving, I happily snatched up some extra green and yellow beans at the weekend farmer’s market, already imagining the gorgeous Mardi Gras-like mix that would appear on our plates.
This recipe is so simple that it feels like a sham to even call it a recipe but may be my favorite way to eat green beans. The combo of freshly picked beans and bright herbs tastes like “garden” in all the best ways and why mess with that?
Herbed Green Beans
serves 2-3 but volume is easily increased
1/2 lb green beans
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley & chives), chopped
freshly cracked black pepper
Wash and trim ends from green beans. Add beans to saute pan and drizzle with olive oil. Saute on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until beans are tender and just beginning to blister. While sautéing, season with salt and pepper. When beans have 1-2 minutes left, add chopped herbs. Serve warm.