Magazine article Sunset

Crazy for Carrots

Magazine article Sunset

Crazy for Carrots

Article excerpt

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Their sweet flavor and cheery colors shine in a savory tart, salad, and cake.

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SAVORY CARROT RIBBON TART

SERVES 6 TO 8 1 1/4 HOURS

With its tangle of bright carrot strips and bits of spicy chorizo,
this beautiful tart makes an exciting appetizer or even a light
main dish. An all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour, gives
especially flavorful and flaky results, but it's delicious made
with any kind of puff pastry.

1 sheet (14 or.) or 2 sheets (17.5 oz. total)
frozen puff pastry, thawed according
to package instructions
1 tbsp. beaten egg
5 medium rainbow carrots with tops
(1 1/4 lbs., any colors except purple;
  if no tops, use flat-leaf parsley)
1/2 cup diced Spanish chorizo
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400[degrees] with a rack set in
lower third of oven and no rack above.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface,
unfold dough; if using 2 sheets, stack
them. Roll (if needed for size) into a 10-by-12-in.
rectangle, smoothing creases;
trim dough to neaten edges. With both
hands, gently lift dough to lined baking
sheet. With a small knife, lightly score a
1/2-in. border around dough. Brush off
excess flour. Freeze 15 minutes to firm.

3. Brush border of dough with beaten egg.
Bake until puffed and lightly browned,
10 to 15 minutes. Press down on center of
pastry with a metal spatula to flatten it.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of
water to a boil. Chop 1 tbsp. carrot tops.
Tear more tops into small pieces to make
1 tbsp.; set tops aside. Peel carrots, then
set on a work surface and pull a vegetable
peeler along them to create 4 cups
ribbons; save end pieces for other uses.

5. Boil carrot ribbons until barely tender,
1 minute. Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice
water, and let cool. Drain ribbons and
pat very dry; toss in a bowl with chorizo,
oil, salt, and pepper.

6. In a food processor, whirl cream cheese
with 2 tbsp. feta until smooth, scraping
inside of bowl.

7. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese
mixture over center of pastry and smear
gently with fingers (it won't spread to
cover pastry). Sprinkle with reserved
chopped carrot tops. Arrange carrots
evenly over cream cheese and scatter
with remaining feta. Bake until pastry
is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

8. Let tart cool briefly on a rack, then scatter
reserved torn carrot tops on top.

PER SERVING 378 Cal., 61% (232 Cal.) from fat;
9 g protein; 26 g fat (9 g sat.); 27 g carbo (2.8 g fiber);
652 mg sodium; 35 mg chol.

WINE PAIRING A tangy pink sparkler like Gloria
Ferrer 2011 Brut Rose (Carneros; $47).
Its red fruit and spice love the chorizo, and its
yeastiness links to the pastry.--Sara Schneider

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They're the tops

Carrots are carrots, right? Not so fast. They're kitchen workhorses, for sure, whether you're buying them by the bag or bunch. But try bagged carrots side by side with freshly harvested bunch carrots, which usually have their green tops attached. For sweetness, juiciness, and flavor, fresh is best.

CARROT AND DAL SALAD

SERVES 4 TO 6 (MAKES 4 CUPS) / 1 HOUR

This playful nod to Indian dal (legume
curry) is perfect at room temperature for a
1%, picnic or office lunch, but also great alongside
roasted lamb chops for dinner. It tastes
even better after a night in the fridge. Yellow
split peas look especially pretty here. … 
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