I’m writing from a waiting room in Overlook Hospital.
I’m writing from a waiting room in Overlook Hospital and the coffee is horrible.
I’m writing from a waiting room in Overlook Hospital, the coffee is horrible, and I’m spending a lot of time watching other people try to figure out how to work the waiting room coffee machine. It’s kind of funny and sad at the same time. Is it just me, or has coffee gotten a lot more complicated in recent years than it used to be? My all-time favorite way of making coffee is still using my little Melitta coffee one-cup funnel/cone thingy. Simplicity, man.
I’m at the hospital to see my dad through a routine procedure. What this means for me is that, instead of experimenting with strawberries and balsamic vinegar or trying to nail down the perfect pie crust, I’m sitting in a waiting room for several hours. But hey, I can’t complain! I’ve got 15 different kinds of weaker-than-water coffee to choose from!
In other news, does carrot slaw count as a side dish? I think it should. Well, I’ve been eating it as one anyway.
I was never much of a coleslaw fan. I was never much of a cabbage fan. Or tomato fan. Or eggplant fan. Or mushroom fan. Or blueberry fan. Did I mention I’m a food blogger? OK, just wanted to clarify that in case you were wondering.
But I do like carrots, and mayonnaise (der), and plump juicy raisins, and pretty green scallions. What kills me about coleslaw (aside from my whole aversion to cabbage…weird, I know) is that I always feel like I’m just eating spoonfuls of mayo. The same goes for all your standard picnic/barbecue salads (chicken salad, potato salad, etc). What I love about this carrot slaw is that, when you look at it, you see……carrots. Not gloopy mayo clumps, just beautiful and springlike orange…
And it doesn’t taste like mayo, though mayo does make a prominent appearance on the ingredient list. It’s flavored with lemon juice and dijon mustard, so you actually have a sauce that tastes like something instead of just mayo. Now don’t get me wrong, I love mayo. I couldn’t live without it. But, it does have a tendency to make things one-note, so I’m very happy to report that this carrot slaw is not mayo laden. You wouldn’t even know it’s in there if I didn’t mention it.
The lemon and dijon give it a tart, tangy punch, rounded out by the briny capers. That’s all well and good, but you know what I love the best about this carrot slaw? The soaked raisins. Raisins!!! The stuff I hated as a child in my youth. I hated them in challah. I hated them in cookies. They always looked like chocolate chips to me. I’m sure this is why I developed trust issues as an adult. Anyway, raisins and I are cool now. We’ve worked it out and now attend dinner parties together. In this particular application, I soaked them in water for about five minutes. It really plumps them up and just revives them after their long hibernation on the grocery store shelf. And when you bite into the slaw and taste that slight burst of sweetness coupled with the tart and tangy, oh, it’s a good time.
This is also the perfect way to use up those less-than-pretty carrots at the bottom of the bag (if you buy bagged carrots). By the way, I have to confess something: I’ve become a carrot snob. I only buy carrots with the greens attached to them. I do this for two reasons:
1) I heard somewhere that if you buy the carrots with the tops on them, you don’t have to peel them. You just have to scrub them. Score for less prep work!
2) The carrots in the bags are nasty. Now, let me just say that I am in no position to judge the quality of bagged carrots at your local grocery store. I just know that at my grocery store, the bagged carrots are nasty. They’re sitting in liquid, the ends are always brown and squishy, and I always wind up tossing at least three carrots straight into the garbage because they’re just too G-d awful to use. An educated consumer is a happy consumer, my friends!
Leftover bagged carrots are put to perfect use in this tangy carrot slaw. No wilted cabbage drowned in globs of mayo here!
- 5 medium-to-large carrots, grated (about 5 cups)
- 1/4 cup of black raisins
- 3/4 cup water
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 tsps capers
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 2 tbsps parsley, chopped
- 2 tsps dijon mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Fill a small bowl with water and add the raisins. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until combined.
- Add the carrots, strained raisins, capers, scallions, and parsley. Fold until all ingredients are evenly coated. It should be just enough liquid to coat everything evenly, without being too gloppy.