Our New Favorite Carrot Recipe

We are getting to that never-ending phase of harvesting, and the stubby carrots that the Brit packed in super-closely are one of this year’s success stories.

Even better is how we have chosen to eat them: grilled, with a chipotle drizzle pulled from a book borrowed from the library called The Gardener and the Grill (personally, I thought the title captured two of the Brit’s summer interests). This has become my new go-to sauce for various vegetables and even meat, and am thinking of using it for a cold noodle salad. So far I’ve made it without the cilantro/coriander.

garden carrots, with drizzle and a roasted cayenne pepper from the garden

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce (I misread this at first and was about to dump in the entire can!)
1 large garlic clove
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of honey
2/3 cup canola oil (I’m thinking just 1/3)
fine kosher or sea salt to taste

Put everything in the food processor, process until emulsified. Then transfer to a jar with a lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

We made another batch today with a fresh harvest in all shapes and sizes.

On the grill they went, using an old pie tin to keep the smaller ones from falling through the grate.

Then on a plate with a jar of drizzle. Yum!

Big Fat Garlic

Independence Day seems to have become Garlic Harvest Day, at least to the Brit.

It only seemed a few weeks ago that we were cutting garlic scapes, but the garlic stalks were definitely dying back. So out came the pitchfork and into the special garlic bed it went.

We hadn’t packed it with 70 or so cloves like last year, and some of what we planted never made it. That was somewhat disappointing because we had planted cloves from two fat bulbs that we’d bought from a ramshackle garlic stand just north of Cooperstown last summer. (We’d also planted some from last year’s harvest, including some cloves that were so dried out that I didn’t expect anything). Did the mild winter play a role? Everything certainly sprouted early. The dry spring? Who knows.

In the end, we harvested 11 bulbs, including at least four that are fatter than anything we’ve ever had.That makes us happy! Some, if not all, will be saved to plant after Halloween so we can develop our own strain of fat New Jersey garlic.

And the Brit is talking of moving the be, now sandwiched between raspberry canes, to next to his caged-in bed for greens — a spot that should be sunnier come spring and summer and that hopefully will make the garlic even happier. (And in case you were wondering, garlic apparently qualifies as both a herb and a vegetable.)

Orange Success

We’ve finally succeeded in growing carrots!

The Brit bought a short, stubby variety called Zanahoria, advertised as short ‘n sweet, figuring that our soil was getting loamier but that long carrots are harder to grow. Short these were, but we found them more nutty than sweet. Of course, there’s also packed in a little too tightly, in my humble opinion. For whatever reason, the Brit opted for rows across the bed (that he didn’t thin out) rather than our usual square-foot gardening technique.

Nonetheless, some of today’s harvest:

More carrots are still in the ground. Maybe he’ll slowly thin them out ’til they are all gone and he fills the space with parsnips. In the meantime, we are looking for ways to use the carrot greens. Any suggestions? Tonight some were mixed into a black rice and white bean salad,