Market log: bull’s blood, harissa, and quick-pickled carrots and chillies

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Market day 7 January 2014

It’s been a while since I posted a market log! I already mentioned the purple carrots and beetroot leaves in this pasta post; here’s the rest of what I got:

Three bunches of spring onions (€1), a bag of purple carrots (€1), a bag of red chillies (€1), three containers of “bull’s blood” beetroot leaves (€1), ten yellow peppers, three heads of romanesco (€1), and two bunches of parsley and one bunch of coriander (€1). I also got two pineapples (€1), but they were still in my bag when I took the photo.

I’d never seen the purple leaves before and the packaging only said “bull’s blood”. Google told me that these are a type of beetroot leaves, and that they’re similar to spinach, so we stir-fried them and had them on pizza with peppers, spring onion, seitan pieces, and a coriander and parsley pesto. Not bad.

Because the leaves are so small, they also taste very good raw. They were almost the same colour as the purple carrots, which I thought made for gorgeous salads:

Harissa Purple salad + toast with hummus

The salad above had beetroot leaves, purple carrots, and red onions with a simple vinaigrette. On the side, I had bread with hummus and toppings: a romanesco tapenade based on this recipe, only with miso instead of anchovies (a tip I’d read on Bryanna Clark Grogan’s blog); a harissa made with the red chillies in the front.

I don’t have a very high tolerance for spicy food so I think you can tell by the quantity that this harissa wasn’t very potent (next time I’ll leave more seeds inside the chillies!) but it was very good. I looked at recipes from Smitten Kitchen and The Kitchn and delicious. and made my own version using red chillies, olive oil, garlic, toasted coriander and caraway seeds, ground cumin, and salt.

Rice cakes with hummus, parsley and coriander pesto, and quick-pickled carrots

I wanted to make a kind of quick pickle out of the carrots so that I could keep them for a longer time, so I briefly boiled them in vinegar with salt and sugar and then let them sit for a while. Somehow, this process turned the carrots bright red! Not what I’d expected, but they certainly made my afternoon snack of rice crackers and hummus (with parsley pesto underneath the carrots) a lot more interesting to look at.

Enchiladas Quick-pickled chillies

After pickling the carrots, I saw Rachel Khoo do something similar with red chillies, so I decided to do the same. My version used regular vinegar instead of rice vinegar, but the flavour was still great — less spicy than raw chillies, but full of flavour and great to have in the fridge. I used them in cornbread, on sandwiches, and as a topping for the enchiladas pictured above.

I’m really pleased with the things I discovered this time. I often only use a few chillies at a time and let the rest dry out, but maybe next time I’ll buy extra to make more harissa and pickles. I’m also curious about the way the rainbow carrots seem to change colour. My Mum used them in a soup which didn’t look very appealing on its own (apparently puréeing a rainbow turns it grey), but then she sprinkled it with lime juice and the surface became flecked with a lovely bright orange. I’ll buy more of the carrots if I see them again — I wonder if they have any other surprising properties. :)


10 thoughts on “Market log: bull’s blood, harissa, and quick-pickled carrots and chillies

  1. LOVE these posts. They always make me want to go to the market and buy produce and cook cook cook! Will you share your enchilada recipe? It looks delicious!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! :) Do you have Viva Vegan? I started out with Terry’s enchilada recipe but I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I used her tip on making enchiladas out of leftovers and made them with what I had. I think mine had a bean and potato filling and a spicy tomato chilli sauce on the outside (and we ate them with yoghurt sauce, coriander, spring onions, and pickled chillies). I’d made my own corn tortillas for the first time and after that I was too impatient to spend too much time on the fillings… so they were good but not amazing. Now I want to try Terry’s recipe!

  2. Beautiful post!! It’s always so inspiring reading what are you cooking with the fresh produce you’re getting. You’re so creative! I love how the purple carrots got even more bright purple through pickling them :D The enchiladas look so good!

  3. Wat een tof blogbericht zeg! Wauw, prachtige foto’s van al die groentes en van je gerechtjes.
    Volgens mij kan jij heel lekker koken :). Als ik een rode peper heb, of wortels, zou ik niet weten wat ik daar allemaal mee kan doen. Maar jij wel! Tof zeg, dat is wel iets waar ik meer tijd aan zou willen besteden.
    Bedankt voor je lieve berichtje op m’n blog!

  4. Pingback: Market log: Panini and crostini, spicy scramble, and pomegranate jelly | Eating with the Rabbits

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