5 Ingredients or Fewer

M.F.K. Fisher Air-Lacquered Carrots

February 27, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves your secret eating cravings
Author Notes

Her recipe was simple. Place the tangerine segments on the radiator. Forget about them. Open the window and cool the segments on packed snow.

And, since this sentence cannot justly be paraphrased, “I cannot tell you why they are so magical. Perhaps it is that little shell, thin as one layer of enamel on a Chinese bowl, that crackles so tinily, so ultimately under your teeth. Or the rush of cold pulp just after it. Or the perfume. I cannot tell.”

This is my tribute to my favorite literary passage (food-related, or otherwise). The outside of the carrots becomes thick and chewy, so you must tear at it. But the inside of the carrot yields. Make sure you slice the carrot thick enough so you can see your teeth marks sinking in. These are sweet and savory, chewy and soft. Carrot jerky would be another (somewhat crasser) way of describing this.

Read the entire tangerine excerpt of M.F.K Fisher’s “Serve it Forth” here: http://jessicatom.com/a-literary-food52-tribute-mfk-fisher-air-lacq —Jessica Tom

What You'll Need
  • carrots -- orange, yellow, purple, whatever color you like
  • salt
  • tangerine zest
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Peel carrots. Slice to ? inch thick.
  3. Toss carrots with salt and tangerine zest.
  4. Place slices on a wire rack fitted in a baking sheet.
  5. Dry in oven, slowly, until carrots are just barely cooked through and the outside is puckered, but not browned, about 3 hours.
  6. Eat hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • linzarella
  • kmartinelli
  • Sagegreen
  • SweetPotatoSoul
  • monkeymom

13 Reviews

linzarella March 9, 2011
Ok, I tried this for the first time a few days ago with a mix of carrots and parsnips, and I loved it so much that I've made it every day since. Today I made my favorite version yet -- with whole young carrots with a half inch of their greens left on, lots of orange zest, and a watercress aioli on the side, and they were AMAZING. Also, the leftover dried citrus zest is great for sprinkling over other stuff. I can't believe how sweet it is!
linzarella March 2, 2011
Has anyone tried it with parsnips? I bet it would be amazing.
Jessica T. March 3, 2011
i haven't, but that does sound amazing. And since parsnips are drier than carrots (in my experience), I bet they'd need less time in the oven.
kmartinelli March 1, 2011
Gotta love MFK Fisher, and I love that your recipe was inspired by that passage. Simple and beautiful.
Jessica T. March 1, 2011
Thanks! She's the greatest. Someone should do an "MFK Fisher & Me" blog, like Julie & Julia. Would people read that?
Sagegreen February 28, 2011
So simply and cool at the same time!
SweetPotatoSoul February 28, 2011
Beautiful carrots. I just read this passage 10 minutes ago on www.feastingonart.com. I love how you honor the essence of the passage that inspired you by adding tangerine zest.
Jessica T. February 28, 2011
Thanks! And that is such a lovely site. I had never heard of it and can't wait to dive in more.
monkeymom February 28, 2011
Can't wait to try this out. Have you done it with any other veggies?
Jessica T. February 28, 2011
Only with red bell peppers, which turn even more jerky-like. Other root vegetables would be the obvious next choice. I can also see this working with winter squash, though summer squash might be too moist. (Might be time to invest in a dehydrator!)
ratatouille February 27, 2011
ellenl February 27, 2011
This passage is absolutely too wonderful!!!
Jessica T. February 27, 2011
Thanks, Ellen! What an amazing woman, that M.F.K. Fisher.