A couple months back, Gilt Taste invited a handful of food bloggers to review and cook with products from their site and I couldn’t be more thrilled to participate. Last week I received a box of gorgeous, perfect produce from Farmer Jones Farm – Gilt Taste’s Chef’s Tasting Box.
Filled with the most charming carrots, tiny potatoes, micro-greens, edible flowers, fresh herbs, beets and tender, uncured garlic, it was such a fun and creative challenge to consider how to develop the ingredients into a handsome recipe. Doing this brought me back to the creative place that fueled the Seasonal Food Guides – a process of thinking and considering, of addition and subtraction, of strategizing and speculation.
What I landed on was this salad. I’m enamored with the flavors of Thai cooking right now and had originally considered a more straightforward curry – something whose heat and coziness would be perfect this time of year. But the produce was in such perfect form by itself that I didn’t want to mess with it too much. I considered translating the flavors of a curry into a dressing – hanging on to the coconut milk (a great starting point for a dressing), the curry paste, the lime, cilantro, mint and green onion and putting it to work with the carrots, microgreens and a little quinoa for heft. And here we are. It is indeed spicy – so those with a sensitive palate might want to hold back on the red chile flakes.
SPICY CARROT + QUINOA SALAD WITH COCONUT LIME DRESSING
For the salad:
6 medium carrots, julienned
1 cup rinsed micro-greens
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons fresh, minced cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh, minced mint
1 small bunch spinach
edible flowers for garnish, optional
For the dressing:
1/4 cup coconut milk (use one with full fat content)
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, optional
First, make the dressing. Whisk together the coconut milk, lime zest and lime juice. Add the green curry paste and dissolve with a fork or the back of a spoon until thoroughly incorporated. Add the sugar, salt and chile flakes and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
To make the salad, combine the carrots, micro-greens, green onions, quinoa, cilantro and mint. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss.
Divide the spinach between four plates. Top with the salad. Garnish with edible flowers if desired.