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Author Notes: I originally made these carrots for a grilled chicken and kale salad with homemade ricotta. The carrots were amazing- spiced, crisp, chewy, sweet and delicious. But I thought they would go better with a grassier, funkier cheese and decided to try a goat cheese.
Years ago my husband and I had this ridiculously long and fascinating molecular gastronomy dinner at Moto in Chicago. By the time we were eating bits of paper that looked and tasted like cotton candy (about 4 hours after we first sat down) I saw a woman across the restaurant completely asleep still upright in her chair. While the laser-toasted-orange-peel-scented pinot noir was exciting and tiny fillet of fish cooked inside a hot box while we ate the 15th course delicious, it was the mound of melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese I remember the most. It was chilled with liquid nitrogen and shot out of some contraption into a nearly weightless pile. And once in your mouth, it disappeared into vapors. We called it goat snow and I knew I would never come close to that ethereal dish, but I could try something close.
I settled on making an herbed granita and it was just what I hoped for. The cold gave way to the creamy goat cheese and then slowly revealed the herbs. It was wonderful with the spiced, sticky carrots. Paired with some greens and toasted nuts this would make a great lunch, or serve with grilled chicken and greens for a hearty dinner. The dish is best with smaller carrots, but you can quarter larger ones as well. —savorthis
Goat Cheese "Snow"
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon chives
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- black pepper
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon urfa or other chili pepper
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam (or orange marmalade)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- maldon or other flakey salt
- Blend cheese with milk until smooth. Fold in pepper, chives and thyme. Pour into a 9x9 baking dish, cover and freeze. You may either scrape and stir with a fork every 15 minutes until frozen granita-style or allow it to freeze in one piece and break into chunks.
- Heat oven to 425. Toast cumin, coriander, fennel and pepper in a dry skillet until fragrant. Let cool then grind in a mortar and pestle. Cut carrots in half, toss with olive oil. and a generous sprinkling of spices. Arrange on a baking sheet so they are not too crowded and bake about 15 minutes or until starting to brown. Meanwhile, heat jam (I did 20 seconds in microwave) until syrupy and mix with juice. Flip carrots, drizzle with jam and roast until edges are browned and starting to crisp.
- Place carrots on a platter and scatter "snow" on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and chives and a sprinkling of maldon salt.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fresh Herbs