Here's the theory I'm testing: are carrots the world's best vegetable?
Here's why they just may be: they work well with savory and sweet dishes and they're lovely with any meal of the day. They're perfect inside of a breakfast frittata, they're a wonderful accompaniment to sandwiches when shredded, they're magical healers in soup, and they are a delightful addition to dinner salads like this one or this one or part of hearty main dishes. On top of that, they're a great source for beta carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and fiber. Here's one summary of the many health benefits of carrots including an interesting history, nutrition summary and tips.
Is there any place the humble carrot *can't* go? I don't think so!
I decided to test this theory and create a non-savory dish using carrots to serve with breakfast. The kids were a little suspect when they saw me chopping up carrots at breakfast time. I steamed a big old batch of carrots recently and had them ready to go in my fridge. I pulled some plums and a lemon from my fruit basket and some Peeled Snacks pitted dates and ground cinnamon. The kids, no longer wary, started snacking on the dates and plum chunks.
Voila! The flavors were great together. I added 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt to balance the sweetness and tossed well. Great flavor but it was missing something: crunch. I made some quick croutons using a couple of slices of Citrus Rye bread that I have in my house from Eric Kayser bakery (best.bread.ever.) and added them to the top of this dish and it made all the difference in the world.
This dish flew out of the bowls. My son wanted more dates in his. My daughter wanted more croutons. With recipes this simple, it's easy to make accommodations!
Carrot and Plum Salad with Dates
1 pound carrots, peeled, steamed and chopped
1 cup pitted Peeled Snacks dates, chopped (taken from the Go Figure - Fig, Date and Apricot bag)
2 cups plums, cut into chunks
Juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Homemade croutons (recipe here, at the bottom)
Toss all ingredients together until the flavors are nicely combined. Enjoy at any time of the day!