Carrot Salad with Lavender & Thyme

My CSA box* often includes carrots — and last week they were special.  Deep, rich purple on the outside with a bright orange core, these beauties deserved a starring role.

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purple carrots, lavender, and thyme

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Carrot Salad with Lavender & Thyme

Their flavor profile is a little duskier than a bright orange carrot, and so I paired them with the lovely lavender and thyme growing in my garden.  A simple dressing of olive oil, sherry vinegar and a touch of honey make it sing.  All together, this is a hearty, sweet/savory salad that would add sparkle to most meals.  And a bonus — this salad keeps for a couple days in the fridge — perfect for make ahead meals.  Enjoy!

Carrot Salad with Lavender & Thyme

6 – 8 purple carrots, rinsed and grated
3 TB olive oil
1 TB fruity sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt, fine
3 sprigs fresh lavender, buds removed and chopped (or 1 tsp dried lavender)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, taste for salt and adjust if needed.

* I often feature vegetables from my Full Belly Farms CSA Veggie box.  Have you considered joining a CSA?  This stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  There are many in my neck of the woods, Northern California, but I know that they exist all over the country, and perhaps the world.  It is an excellent way to taste the best produce grown locally, grown in a way that respects workers and the land upon which they labor.  Here’s a link to Local Harvest, a site that helps connect you with the best CSA box for you and your family.

Venus Thistle Cocktail

A cocktail is an impression of a greater experience –  evoking something beautiful, mysterious, tender, dramatic.  My Venus Thistle Cocktail is an impression of the stunning wildflowers and rocky crags of Pinnacles National Park.

Venus Thistle Cocktail

Venus Thistle Cocktail

Its namesake wildflower, The Venus Thistle, blooms bright and fresh in a harsh and dry landscape.

Venus Thistle

Venus Thistle

Scotch was the natural choice to represent a thistle.  My favorite mixer, St. Germain, lends a gentle and well rounded floral sweetness to this drink.  Muddled white thyme from my garden evokes the fragrant, resinous vegetation of the Pinnacles.  Serve in a small, chilled cocktail glass.  Enjoy!

The Venus Thistle
(serves one)

1 1/2 oz good quality scotch
1/2 oz St. Germain
2 sprigs fresh thyme
ice

Gently muddle one spring thyme in the base of your cocktail mixing glass.  Pour in scotch and St. Germain, then add four cubes of ice.  Stir for a minute to thoroughly chill the cocktail.  Strain into a coupe and garnish with a sprig of thyme.