For this recipe, I wanted to give a nod to the fact that we don’t really follow recipes. At least I don’t. At least not usually. You know what I mean? I read one and think, “That’s a good idea!” and I may even refer back to it while I’m cooking, but I’m not using any of the exact quantities specified, I am leaving things out, and I am putting in things that aren’t called for.
Of course, there are also the nights when I just want to settle down and cook something from exact notes, especially my own exact notes, about what to put in and how much.
But, I think being more experimental, at least some of the time, is a great way to learn about cooking, about flavors, and about what you like. And some recipes, like this one, seem made for a non-measuring preparation every time, even after I have figured out just how I like them.
So, at least some of the time, I’m going to post in the form of a recipe “sketch” that acknowledges the fact that many of us are going to make our own version anyway, as well we should.
Recipe Sketch – Carrot and Raisin Salad
Grate some carrots, on the biggest holes in your grater. These make up most of the volume of the salad, so grate as many as you need for about as much salad as you want.
Add some raisins. Pour some in and mix to see if you think it’s enough.
Grate in citrus zest. I like lime the best, but Meyer lemon is also lovely. Squeeze on a little juice of the same citrus.
Salt. It seems weird, but a small (not tiny) amount of salt is totally what makes this come together.
That and heavy whipping cream. Actually, mixing the cream with crème fraîche is even better. I like to add just enough to make a little liquidy dressing for the carrots and raisins.
Mix, taste and adjust.
I love these flavors! A little salty, a little sweet, a lot of fresh. Also, a fantastic way to use up carrots from your fridge right before you leave town. And a good use of multicolored carrots. Sometimes I think I buy heirloom vegetables just for the colors.
So what about you? Do you “follow” recipes?