PHYLLIS ODESSEY is the Director of Horticulture for Randall’s Island Park. A smile is a powerful thing. When kids pile out of the bus at The Learning Garden, their faces express amazement, delight and awe. An open sky, a river nearby, the sound of a train passing, and the anticipation of what is about to happen; inspire all the hard work that we do at The Learning Garden.
In 2011 we grew two kinds of carrots: Dragon and Nelson. (You’ve got to love the names). Dragon Carrots (Daucus carota)are a luscious purple carrot. With a red purple exterior and yellow orange interior, this carrot is a real show stopper in a salad. Nelson (Daucus carota var. sativus) is an early sowing and harvest carrot. We like to grow them, because they can be harvested as babies or when full-grown.
Ask kids do you eat carrots? A resounding yes. They are used to consuming those 3 inch stubby, oblong carrots that come in bags found at the supermarket. If you ask how does a carrot grow? A confused look crosses their faces.
Our Edible Education Program covers more than just planting, composting, mulching and harvesting. Eating what you grow is just as important. We’ve made pesto with the basil , kale slaw with kale and this year we will be trying out a carrot salad dressing for the greens we harvest.
CARROT SALAD DRESSING
1/3 cup vinegar
(any white balsamic or champagne vinegar)
1 cup olive oil
1- 1 1/2 cups of carrtos diced
into small pieces
1/2 cup of celery
3 tbls. lemon juice
3 tbls. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all of above in a blender or food processor.
Taste and adjust lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 2 cups
Let us know your suggestions for other recipes using fresh vegetables.