There’s nothing better than a recipe that gives you a feeling of promise, especially when it involves something as mundane as carrots. Yes, carrots. I mean, just when I thought I’d done everything worth doing with carrots — shredding them into my favorite carrot salad, pickling them, roasting them for an avocado salad, grinding them into a ginger dressing, grating them into Indian vegetable pancakes — a reader (Hi, Sasa!) came along, emailed me her favorite carrot recipe and with one look, I knew exactly what my carrot routine was missing.
A few weeks ago, a commenter (hi, Kate!) tipped me off to the Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing in Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter. Yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow, from Duets! She has a newsletter dedicated to “nourishing the inner aspect” which I have to be completely honest, I have no idea what that is and hope that doesn’t mean I don’t have one. I’m also not convinced that I’m full of impurities and toxins, thus I’m not really into cleanses and detoxes she discusses in this newsletter and I’m understandably suspect of borderline-starvation fasts that promise a quick shedding of holiday excess.
As it turns out, it has been nearly two years since I attempted to recreate a carrot salad I’d had at The Spotted Pig, completely lost interest in it halfway through the cooking process, burned dinner and went out for a fairly forgettable dish at a nearby restaurant instead. What a shame, right? This salad deserves better than to be passive-aggressively swapped out for noodles and left to collect dust for years.
After months and months and months of the kind studying, stressing and panicked all-nighters I only vaguely remember from college in part because I am very, very old and in part because, no, I did not graduate with a 4.0, my friend Alice finally took her very big exam this past weekend. In an effort to compensate for the dozens of parties and outings and merriment she’s missed since the summer, her fiance had a surprise party (and a clean loft, swoon) waiting for her when she got home.
Seeing that it is a whole eleven days into aught-eight, I’m going to stagger a guess that you’re sick of carrot sticks by now. But I don’t want you to feel bad about it. We all hit that wall between our ambition and the reality that being “good” all of the time is no fun from time to time. Hey, some of us walked right past the gym last night and proceeded to go shopping instead. I’m just saying.
I find it funny now — what with my obvious fascination with stirring up soups aplenty — that a couple years ago I didn’t care for them at all. Everything about the taste of vegetables boiled in flavored water until their structures compromised made my stomach turn and to this day, even the liveliest minestrone invokes a bad memory of flavor-sapped herbs and formless noodles. Even those that came close to passing muster were so laden with salt, I’d find myself aching for a glass of water after a bowl of something that was supposed to be soothing.