Monday, November 5, 2012


No, I'm not going to get all religious on you. Sometimes though, sacred imagery can speak to the heart of the matter where words fail. This past week, we on the North East learned a very hard, sad lesson on how vulnerable we are to changing weather patterns. It has been impossible not to feel the pain of the tens of thousands of families left homeless in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

A casual stroll through St. John's Cemetery in Glendale Queens on Sunday afternoon managed to sooth my agitation a bit. Living through the storm, but being spared any major inconvenience brings a strange sense of having narrowly dodged a bullet and with that, extreme gratitude.
The sky was magnificent for a few hours on Sunday. It has been a long, somber, disorienting week since the storm hit. I have pitched in to clean school kitchens, ransacked my home for warm clothing and blankets for donation centers and regularly checked in on friends and family, some of whom are still living with out power, water, and heat.
A neighbor's garden of mustard greens continues to flourish. We suffered no worse than fallen trees.

With time on my hands as we waited day after day for services to be restored I poked around at some recipes from the pile of clippings I keep adding to but rarely have a chance to explore. The NY Times printed a version of a Roast Carrot and Avocado salad that caught my eye, adapted from ABC Kitchen. I ended up adapting it even further and dispensed with the avocado altogether. What really interested me about the recipe was the spice paste slathered on the carrots before roasting.
It had never occurred to me to try a technique like that. What had I been waiting for? And I loved the idea of roasting lemons and oranges along with the carrots, squeezing the juice on top before serving. That is the way I did it and I'm sticking to it.

 The carrots had a really robust flavor with a tart zing from the citrus. I loved the dish and I have to confess to being not the biggest fan of cooked carrots. I will be making this again.

- r e c i p e -
Spiced Roasted Carrots with Citrus
1 pound medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbs capers
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper,  to taste
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1  orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered

 Heat the oven to 400F
Arrange the carrots in a baking dish.

Combine the garlic cloves, capers, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil in a spice grinder, or use a mortar and pestle, smashing or grinding everything into a paste. Spread the paste over the carrots. Lay the lemon and the orange pieces cut side down on the carrots and roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the carrots are tender when pierced with a knife.

Remove carrots from baking dish and arrange on a serving platter. Using tongs, carefully squeeze the juice from the lemon and the orange over the carrots and serve.

Please consider donating to the American Red Cross to support their Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Thank you!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Deb,
    That was a beautiful post. I'm glad that you and your family are OK. I continue to read all of your posts, and do hope to contribute as well.
    I'm glad all is well,

  3. Hi, Debbie:
    Love the idea of carrots with citrus. Can't use seeds of any sort, so I'm wondering if the recipe would work without them.
    Or if there is a substitute.
    Stay serene.

    1. Hi Pat- consider substituting a smoked paprika for the seeds. That will give you some depth of flavor to play off the citrus. A pinch of cili powder would work too.


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