Roasted Carrot Salad With Curry Aigre-Doux

While trying to find inspiration for my Christmas meal ‘salad course’, I came across a dish listing at https://epicures.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/per-se-nyc-3/ – and in particular, it was the salad dish described as:  Sweet Carrot Salad, Young Onions, Candied Walnuts and Pea Tendrils with Madras Curry “Aigre-Doux”. So I thought, why couldn’t I make a simple melange of roasted baby carrots, roasted pearl/cippolini onions and walnuts with curry sauce.  But how to do a ‘Aigre-Doux’? After rummaging around the net for a while, I found: http://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_courgettes-a-l-aigre-doux_18460.aspx (for Christmas no less).  Translating that page, I managed to tease out that I would need to make a thick syrup from:

5 oz white wine vinegar
5 oz water
5 T + 1t + 1/2t + 1/8 t sugar
2 1/4 t curry powder
1/8t peppercorns (white for this?)

So I would image this would be mixing in the vinegar, water, sugar and white peppercorns until it became syrupy and then add the curry powder.   For the salad, I would toss the carrots and baby onions in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and 4:1 salt/pepper mix then roast them in a preheated 400 degree F for about 20-30 minutes.

Ingredients for the curry aigre-doux

Ingredients for the curry aigre-doux

So in making the aigre-doux, I measured out the vinegar and water

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

into the same measuring cup

...and an equal amount of water

…and an equal amount of water

and then added the sugar and peppercorns to a sauce pot.

starting up the aigre doux

starting up the aigre doux

I then poured the vinegar and water into the pot and set the heat to 50% max power to slowly reduce to a syrup.  Now I could’ve added the curry into the pot as well; but I was worried about burning it.  So I decided to hold off on the curry until

aigre-doux reduced from 10+ ounces by a third

aigre-doux reduced from 10+ ounces by a third

the reduction was done.  At that point I added the 2 1/4 teaspoons of curry and tried to blend it in as best I could.

Adding the curry to the aigre-doux

Adding the curry to the aigre-doux

And then I set it side to cool to room temperature for later use.

Completed sauce for the 'salad'

Completed sauce for the ‘salad’

So for the salad, I took 6 small/young/baby carrots and had them split lengthwise.  Into the roasting pan, I added the carrots

loading the roasting pan with vegetables tossed in oil, salt/pepper

loading the roasting pan with vegetables tossed in oil, salt/pepper

and 6oz of pearl onions and tossed them with grapeseed oil and about 4 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix.  The vegetables were roasted for 20 minutes in a 400 F degree preheated oven.  Once they were done, I put down a small bed of

Plating the 'salad'

Plating the ‘salad’

walnuts and then stacked 6 slices carrots on each plate and evenly scattered the pearl onions on each plate.   For each plate, I

The finished salad

The finished salad

drizzled 2 teaspoons of the curry aigre-doux reduction over the salad and served.  My wife had her expectations of how she thought the vegetables in the salad would taste. Upon tasting the aigre-doux itself, she commented how strong the sauce was.  Upon mixing the aigre-doux with all the salad elements, she remarked that she was surprised how well all the parts of the salad worked TOGETHER.   So I think the salad would work for the Christmas meal, and I would make half portions as an offering in the multi-course meal.

 

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