Published by Francis Mallmann in epicurious.com on July 2009
Carrots are like a quiet but secretly remarkable child who doesn't attract much attention. Most often they're simply what you throw into a soup or a braised dish to "add a little sweetness." But it's because of that inner sweetness that they're so suited to charring on a chapa. The sugar caramelizes and produces a delicious crust. They are tossed with nutty garlic chips, peppery arugula, and creamy goat cheese.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 medium carrots (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
2 bunches arugula, trimmed, washed, and dried
6 ounces Bûcheron or similar goat cheese, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Crispy Garlic Chips
- To make the vinaigrette, pour the vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in 5 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut the carrots crosswise in half, then cut the halves into thick rough sticks. Toss in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a chapa or large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the carrots in a single layer and cook, without turning, until they are charred on the bottom and almost burned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more, adjusting the heat as necessary, until they are crunchy on the outside and tender within. Transfer to a tray. Wipe out the skillet, if using, and set aside.
- Combine the parsley and arugula on a large serving platter and toss lightly with half the vinaigrette. Place the carrots on top.
- Reheat the chapa or skillet to very high heat and coat with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Immediately add the slices of goat cheese: be careful—the oil may spatter. As soon as you see the cheese blacken on the bottom, remove the slices with a thin spatula and invert onto the carrots. Toss the garlic chips over the salad and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.