Who knew a bad hair trend would trickle town through the cracks of popular culture all the way to vegetable crudités! In 2011 “ombre” was everywhere. Pretty girls rocked dark brown roots that faded slowly to bright blonde tips and long flowy dresses that were white on top slowly changed to grey and then black as if someone had accidentally dipped them in ink. Ombre is a classic pattern of fading from one color to another, and often light to dark or dark to light.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a beautiful display of ombre carrots on the cover of this month’s Martha Stewart Living (all hail!).
Gorgeous right? I was a bit limited in my search for perfect baby pink and purple carrots so I had to settle for chopped up purple carrots. And rainbow chard? Not to be found anywhere in the five boroughs.
Still, it’s beautiful and deliciously springy as well. Martha’s recipe called for canola oil and some odd spice so I substituted sumac and simplified the lemon dressing. It was glorious.
Ombre Carrots and Chard
Serves 4 as a starter
8 large rainbow carrots in various colors (or twenty baby ones)
1 bunch swiss or rainbow chard, stems only, cut into 3-inch spears
10 mint leaves, roughly torn
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sumac
pinch of salt and cayenne pepper
1. Peel and chop the carrots into spears about 3 inches long. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, remove and cool in an ice water bath. Cook the chard in the same boiling water for 3 minutes, remove and cool in an ice water bath.
2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
3. On a plate, arrange the carrots and chard according to color. Drizzle dressing on top and sprinkle mint leaves. Serve cold or room temperature.
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