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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Carrot, Orange & Tarragon double act

This intriguing combination will really fool your guests - it's hard to spot the difference between the orange peel and carrot when julienned exactly the same size and all glistening with dressing or hot butter. Watch the surprised faces when the eyes, the taste buds and the brain all synchronize then wait for the slow smile to spread across each face. It does help to serve this to people who wear magnifiers for reading - anyone younger might be just a little bit suspicious!


Julienne enough carrot to your liking, to serve as a salad or as a vegetable
Julienne some orange peel, one third of the above amount
French tarragon to serve
Butter or dressing to serve


It is easy to julienne (matchstick strips) this way: take an average size carrot, peel it and divide it into 3 pieces. Take one of those pieces and square off the sides, cut the now square piece of carrot into 1/8 inch (0.3cm) thick slices. Stack these slices on top of each other and cut into 1/8 inch (0.3cm) strips. Repeat with the rest of the carrot. To make julienne of orange is a little more difficult. Remove long pieces of orange rind with a potato peeler avoiding the white pith. Take a very sharp knife, square up each piece and cut strips exactly the same width and size as the julienned carrot or as near as possible.

Toss carrot and orange in either dressing for a salad or cook gently in butter for a few minutes and serve either way with French tarragon. If you can only find Russian tarragon, use it sparingly. Chicken is a good choice to serve with this dish.

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