I’m pretty sure today is the hottest day of the year here in New York City. If it’s not, it certainly feels like it. The Weather Channel clocks us in at 93 degrees (with a “feels like” of 98 degrees and close to 50% humidity), which means that, down in the Level 3 kitchen at school, it’s about oh… a million bazillion degrees Farenheit. Which means wilted salad greens and grainy whipped cream and silly, long-sleeved marshmallow uniforms stuck to hot, sweaty skin. Appetizing, no?
To sum things up, it’s hot. Damn hot. It doesn’t help that in our new, more advanced (and more time-sensitive) Level 3 format I’m constantly running around like a mad woman, chopping and filleting and stirring and straining and spooning and tasting and plating and reminding myself to breathe. Today, one of the dishes I was responsible for was grilled salmon with white wine herb sauce. Doesn’t that sound good? It does, until you find yourself sweating over a blazing grill, desperately willing the fish to go ahead and be done already, before you reach your boiling point and actually burst into flames. I wonder if that’s possible. You know, to flambé yourself.
In all honesty, it’s not so bad. I mean, I did sign up for cooking school in August. Mostly I’m just cranky because I lost my camera this weekend at the Union Square Green Market. At least, I think I lost it. It could have been stolen… snatched up by a seedy young thief hidden among the throngs of people buying peaches and tomatoes and fresh herbs. I sort of like that idea better – it makes me feel like less of an irresponsible camera-loser. At any rate, I’m devastated. I’ve been feeling lost and, frankly, naked, since Saturday. Though I did pick up some wonderful heirloom tomatoes and a bunch of small, multicolored carrots at the market. They’re really beautiful – knobbly stalks of purple and orange and white. Not that you’ll get to see them. Or any of the other pretty pictures I took on Saturday – barrels of shiny, purple and white eggplants, wheels of yellow, raw-milk cheese, bunches of plump and pointy red radishes. Sigh. Such a bummer.
Luckily, before my poor camera was seized by a hostile market-goer, I was able to upload a few pictures from the fiery depths of Hades – I mean, Level 3 at school. Take a good, long look, because there’s nothing more where those came from. Sob.
Colorful carrots are all over the farmer’s markets these days – they’re sweet and bright and beautiful, and I suggest that, if you haven’t already, you give them a try. Just keep a tight grip on your valuables – I hear there’s a camera thief lurking around 14th Street.
- 1 bunch rainbow carrots, whole, scrubbed and trimmed
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- olive oil
- fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350º. Toss the carrots with the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and place them on a sheet pan. Roast the carrots in the oven until slightly wrinkly and fork tender, about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the carrots). Remove from oven and immediately toss with chopped rosemary and mint, to taste. I prefer to use less rosemary and a lot of mint. Serve with a few slices of toasted bread and a hunk of sharp cheese.
Note: I like the look of these small carrots whole, but feel free to slice them up before roasting, if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the roasting time accordingly (smaller pieces will roast faster than larger ones). Also, you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about peeling the carrots – peeling removes the pretty, outer purple layer (of the purple carrots, anyway), so I opted to scrub them thoroughly and eat them skin-on. Yum.