A while ago I started reading Orangette, by Molly Wizenburg, from the beginning, word for word, and I've continued on in this manner until late; I've evolved to a less obsessive following, now I read just one month of posts instead of four while eating breakfast. I also bought her book, A Homemade Life which I devoured in the Vancouver airport and now just pick up and fondle, bursting with excitement for the various cakes (Molly really likes cake) and small one person dishes I can make. She loves high-quality ingredients to make simple delicacies. It's the way it should be done.
This morning, I read March 2007 and found this post for french-style carrot salad, which consequently led me to this post for a gloriously simple looking chickpea salad. Then, seeing as I still had some of her bouchons au thon that I made the other night left in the fridge (with only one egg, less crème fraiche, and pesto, which still produced slightly extravagant little tuna casseroles) and ryvita crackers in the cupboard, a combined salad of chickpeas and carrots seemed to be a brilliant addition. And, then, just, you know, I had some fiddleheads from the market lying around.
A note on fiddleheads:
In the food reference book, On food and cooking, fiddleheads are listed under "Toxins in some fruits and vegetables". The author, Mr. Harold McGee proceeds to inform us that they're the cause of several blood disorders and cancer in animals who graze on them, and they should be eaten in moderation.... However, luckily I was around when Libby's Uncle Ian prepared them for dinner one night. You want to have two pots of boiling water. Dump the fiddleheads into the first pot, let them simmer around for 3-4-5 minutes. Then move them into the next pot and simmer again until they reach your desired tenderness. You will see that the water in the first pot is dark brown and full of debris (do not drink this), not because it's poisonous, but because you use this double-dip method to remove the bitterness of the skins. Then you could fry them in some butter and garlic, which I didn't do, olive, salt and pepper is perfect for me.
And then, cause I know you're squirming in your seat with impatience about my salad! Here it is in all it's ingenuosity and simplicity:
Chickpea and Carrot Salad
1 C cooked chickpeas
1 carrot (grated, mandolin unnecessary)
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 small clove garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp cumin seed (whole)
1 tsp salt
Mix it all around and around and eat it in great big spoonfuls out on the porch.