Ice-Cold Carrots, Radishes and Beets with Potted Anchovy and Lemon Butter
“This is a little take on the Italian bagna cauda, the classic Piedmontese dish of vegetables dipped in a warm anchovy cream sauce. But instead of serving the carrots, radishes and beets warm, I like them all cold and refreshing. The fresh snap of the carrots and the spice of the radishes are kept in check by our trusty friend, the anchovy. If you can’t find goat butter, a good-quality sweet cream butter will work, but I love the grassiness of goat butter. What a great beginning to a wonderful picnic!” – Seamus Mullen, author of Hero Food.
- 1 bunch French breakfast radishes
- 1 bunch Thumbelina carrots or baby carrots
- 1 bunch baby beets
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 bowl ice cubes
- 1/2 cup goat butter or sweet cream butter
- 2 fillets Homemade Potted Anchovies or best-quality salted anchovies
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite chopped herbs (chives, basil and parsley are all very nice)
- Freshly ground black pepper
I like to cut the vegetables into different shapes. For the radishes, it’s nice to cut them in half lengthwise and then in half again to make quarter wedges. Depending on the size of the carrots, they can be cut into oblique inch-long pieces, or if they’re Thumbelina carrots, simply halved lengthwise. Since the beets are served raw, they’ve got to be cut thinly; the easiest way to do this is to slice them into little coins on a mandoline.
Once you’ve cut all your vegetables, sprinkle the kosher salt over the bowl of ice, toss in the vegetables, stir them together well, and set aside in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the butter, anchovies, lemon zest, herbs and freshly ground pepper in the food processor and process until everything is evenly incorporated and the butter is soft, whipped and easily spreadable.
Put the butter in a small bowl or ramekin. Remove the vegetables from the fridge; drain and serve over ice in another bowl. I love the intense contrast of the crisp, cold root vegetables dipped in the luxurious, soft, flavored butter. Yum.
A note on preserving anchovies…
If you want to use the fresh anchovies right away and you don’t feel like waiting 4 days for them to cure in salt and sugar, as in Homemade Potted Anchovies, then just pack them in the curing mixture and refrigerate for a few hours. Remove the anchovies from the salt; rinse them and carefully pat dry. Slip them into a bowl of olive oil, bay leaves, basil, lemon peel, peppercorns and thyme. Anchovies preserved like this will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and are a great addition to potato salad and fresh pasta. Or just serve them on garlic-rubbed toast with a squeeze of lemon juice.
– From Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better by Seamus Mullen/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC