Portuguese Marinated Carrots

carrots algarve.jpg

These are often served with drinks as a petisco, the Portuguese version of a tapa. Cut 3 or 4 carrots into roughly half inch slices (I split them lengthwise, then slice) and cook them in well-salted boiling water for about 10 minutes. You want them just barely tender, not soft.

While the carrots cook, make the marinade by stirring together a tablespoon of honey or sugar with a couple of tablespoons of Katz Sparkling Wine vinegar, then adding 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Toast a couple of tablespoons of cumin seeds in a dry skillet for a few minutes, until they're aromatic and just starting to brown.

Drain the carrots and add them to the dressing along with the cumin and a couple of cloves of chopped garlic. Chop a nice handful of cilantro and add it; add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. If you can, let this sit for an hour or more. It's not traditional, but I like a little red pepper heat, and if you like things hot, add something spicy, like a pinch of cayenne. (In a few weeks I'll have some of Necton's new flor de sal with piri piri chile, and it's really good sprinkled over the carrots.)

Serve these with good olives and a nice drizzle of extra virgin. If it's sunny, open a cold bottle of vinho verde and pretend you're in the Algarve.