Parenting becomes more transparent these summer months; constant in its immediacy, variety, complexity, and beauty.
I wake from the nights of heavy heat with prickly skin, hair matted to my scalp. Conversations waft down to the kitchen as I make breakfast.
“Guess what we’re having for breakfast? It starts with a ‘P.’ And the ‘P’ is silent.”
“The silent P was a decoy! We’re having pancakes.”
One of them heads off with a friend to play mini-golf, the other to a pool party. I drop one off for the night; bring another here.
We subsist on salads. The night after inhaling rich, caramelized carrots balanced with peppery arugula, I dreamed about meeting Melissa Clark, author of the cookbook from whence it came.
We end our days with something along the lines of Capture the Flag and rhubarb crisp, and then everyone generally gets to bed without fuss. As I make my nightly rounds, I'm surprised at how much older Abbott has started to look when he sleeps.
Honey-Roasted Carrot Salad
adapted slightly from Cook this Now by Melissa Clark
1 pound carrots (about 5 medium), trimmed, peeled, and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 ½ tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon plus 1 large pinch kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 bunches arugula (about 8 cups)
For the vinaigrette:
1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the carrots with the 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and then distribute them evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots are carmelized and tender, stirring occasionally.
While the carrots are roasting, whisk together the honey, remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon water, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Toss the almonds with 1 ½ teaspoons of the honey mixture and spread them on a small baking sheet.
Transfer the almonds to the oven, and then pour the remaining honey mixture over the carrots. Roast until the nuts are dark golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in the oil until incorporated.
Place the arugula in a large bowl with the carrots and almonds. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, toss, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings