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Author Notes: When you start with freshly harvested, young carrots (preferably from your local farmer’s market) there’s no need to peel their thin skin. For a burst of color, use a variety of carrots (such as golden or red varieties), if available. Because Pickled Mustard Seeds can be prepared well in advance (you’ll love having leftovers to perk up vinaigrettes, or to toss with grilled green beans, potatoes, or roasted beets), this dish comes together quickly. You can grill the carrots up to 2 hours in advance (they’re delicious at room temperature), but for the best texture place them on the arugula and add the dressing just before serving. To add more richness, top the carrots with shaved aged cheese like ricotta salata or Parmesan. —Paula Disbrowe
Serves 6 to 8
For the pickled mustard seeds:
- 3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 dried arbol chile
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Rinse the mustard seeds in a fine-mesh sieve, pat dry with paper towels, and place in an 8-ounce jar or heatproof bowl. In a heavy small saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the mustard seeds and let them soak at room temperature until softened, 3 to 4 hours. Store pickled mustard seeds in a sealed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
For the grilled young carrots and salad:
- 2 pounds young carrots, scrubbed and trimmed (leave 1/4–inch of stem intact)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 to 6 ounces (or 2-3 bunches) baby arugula
- Flaky salt, for finishing
- Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire (or heat a gas grill to high). While the grill heats, place the carrots in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat, add the rosemary, and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss to combine.
- Grill the carrots over direct heat, until they have a nice char on both sides, using tongs to rotate around and the heat as needed for even cooking (and to prevent them from getting too dark), about 2 minutes per side. Move the carrots to indirect heat (If you’re cooking on a gas grill, shut off one side of the grill), close grill, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the carrots are just barely tender and then remove from heat.
- In the same bowl you used for the carrots, whisk together the pickled mustard seeds, vinegar, honey, 1/3 cup olive oil until combined. Place the arugula on a serving platter, top with the grilled carrots, drizzle with the pickled mustard seed dressing and garnish with flaky salt.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!