August 26, 2010

Olivéa's Pickled Carrots

Bernie and I went on a date last weekend to a hip local restaurant named Olivéa.  It was a mile and a half walk each way.  We sat outside and had a fabulous dinner and watched the comings and goings of the drag bar across the street.  

As if going out to dinner wasn't in itself a treat, this place has a charcuterie menu for crying out loud!  That alone makes Olivéa awesome in my book.  We started with (wine) pork belly with pickled spring vegetables (carrots, onions, and a mystery veggie).  Then we had (wine) the prosciutto flat bread with black mission figs and gorgonzola.  Then we had (wine) salads...I had the arugula salad with pistachios, goat cheese and roasted golden beets, Bernie had a cucumber salad that was on special.  At this point I was ready to call it a night but we had ordered entrees which we totally didn't need or want.  Bernie got the pork loin with crispy sweet corn polenta, pickled cherries and shaved fennel and I had the grilled skirt steak with romesco, agro dolce onions and crispy potatoes.  And because we didn't quite eat enough we split a desert...chocolate and fleur de sel caramel tart with milk chocolate gelato and nougatine crunch.  O.M.G.

Thank baby Jesus we were walking home is all I have to say.  One - because we drank way too much and Two - because we needed to walk before our arteries hardened.

So where was this story going?  Oh yeah, pickled carrots.  We were so impressed by the pickled veggies served with the pork belly that I emailed the chef for the recipe and he actually sent it to me!  Same day!  I would share it here but that seems like a douche move since I didn't actually say I wanted to share it with my 6 readers.  If you're interested email me and I'll send it to you.  Typical pickle ingredients: vinegar, sugar, water, salt, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, chili flakes, and carrots.  The restaurant used very small carrots but not those mutant "baby carrots" sold in bags.  They had a hint of a green stem on top.  I tried my best to use small carrots from the farmer's market but I had to chop some into sticks.  I switched jar size last minute so my sticks were a little height challenged.






We waited a few days to try them.  The carrots were a little crunchier than I remembered them being at the restaurant, maybe they will soften up over time or maybe I should have sauteed them longer.  A little less sugar next time as they are fairly sweet.  You can really taste the thyme, in a good way of course.  All in all they are pretty yummy and very easy to make.  If I make another batch I'm going to try this recipe from David Lebovitz.


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