Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Carrot Sambal

If you’re tired of cole slaw, this slightly spicy side dish goes beautifully with barbecue.

(serves 6–8 as a side dish)

4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
¼ c canola oil
¼ c sugar
4 tsp fish sauce
juice of one lime
1 lb organic carrots (see tip below)
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
a small handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a large knife, then peel and trim each clove. Trim the jalapeno, remove the seeds, and mince the flesh.

2. In a skillet set over low heat, cook the garlic and jalapeno in the canola oil until the garlic begins to brown, about 8–10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar and let cool. Complete the dressing by whisking in the fish sauce and lime juice.

3. Meanwhile, wash, trim, and shred the carrots in a food processor. Add the scallions and cilantro. Toss with the dressing.

• I specify organic carrots primarily because you don’t need to peel them. That’s a big plus when recipes like this one call for carrots in quantity.

• Carrot sambal (made with carrots from our garden) has become such a staple in our house that I’ve had to develop a variation, just so we don’t get bored. I add 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and minced, along with ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom to the simmering oil. The resulting sambal has a nice, refreshing tang.

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