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The contrast of char on the marigold-colored carrots is as dramatic and delicious as the combination of flavors: sweet (carrots), peppery (arugula), nutty (crispy garlic slices) and tangy (goat cheese).
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds carrots (about 8 to 10)
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large bunch arugula, washed and dried
4 1/2-inch-thick slices firm goat cheese, like Bucheron
1. In a small heavy-bottomed pan, warm 1/2 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot (a slice of garlic will sizzle upon contact), add garlic slices and leave them until they turn golden brown, about 5 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set aside the pan and oil.
2. In a small nonreactive bowl, make a vinaigrette by combining red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and 5 Tbsp of olive oil.
3. Cut the carrots in half crosswise and then again, this time lengthwise. Add the carrots to a second bowl with 3 Tbsp of the cooled garlicky oil from step one, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a cast iron pan to high and add the carrots, flat side down. Leave undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are charred. Flip and repeat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove carrots and wipe out the pan.
4. To serve, toss the parsley leaves and arugula with half of the vinaigrette and spread them onto a large platter. Arrange the charred carrots on top of the greens. Reheat the cast iron pan and add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add the goat cheese slices and blacken on one side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Then place cheese directly on the carrots. Sprinkle the garlic chips around the platter and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Adapted by Ellen Jackson from the recipe for Burnt Carrots in Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires: Grilling in the Argentine Way