HONEY MUSTARD CARROT RIBBONS AND CABBAGE GREENS
I love roast veggies but this year I changed things up a bit. The oven is always choc-a-block so instead of trays of roasted veg to keep my eyes on, I turned my parsnips into cornbread buns, and then dreamed up a much fresher tasting carrot and cabbage stir-fry that takes minutes to make and adds some colour and zest to the table.
One of my favourite Ayurvedic recipes is carrots stir-fried with mustard seeds. Since I’m adding in the much more bitter and astringent cabbage greens here as well (try any winter leafy greens such as kale, cavolo nero or finely sliced Brussels sprouts), a little raw honey was needed to boost the natural sweetness of the carrots and counter the mustard seeds and cabbage.
I love cabbage greens, spring greens, in fact every type of bitter leaf. They are very Vata though so I make sure they’re served cooked, hot and with the addition of some fats to help balance the rough, dry, airy qualities with some unctuous grounding. Christmas falls when the Vata time of winter moves to a more Kapha time of winter — both cold but the dry fast energy gets progressively wetter and slower. These greens are a great food to be enjoying at this time, and even more so as the spring peeks over the horizon. This won’t be for quite a while, I’ll admit, but it’s nice to know that if you like this stir-fry fried veg dish you can enjoy it over the coming months!
Honey and mustard conjures up thoughts of a typical cooked honey with a commercial mustard mix. Here we use mustard seeds, freshly roasted in ghee, and then add a raw honey dressing in order to keep the full benefits of the raw honey intact. Also in Ayurveda honey is only “cooked” or added to hot drinks under specific circumstances — best to avoid it unless you’re advised otherwise.
Note: Most commercial honey is cooked at high temperature and specific brands process it more than need be in order to keep a consistent flavour and texture for their product. Real unprocessed honey changes throughout the year depending on what flowers the bees have access to.
2 tbsp ghee
3 tbsp mustard seeds
2 large carrots
400g cabbage greens (hispi cabbage, pointed cabbage, kale, spring greens, cavolo nero)
For the dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
Mix or shake the dressing ingredients together until combined.
Top and tail the carrots and then use a vegetable peeler along the length of the carrot to create wide ribbons.
To prepare the greens, wash well, remove any tough stalks, then slice into fine ribbons.
Heat the ghee in a large pan on medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Toast the seeds very lightly until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Add the carrot ribbons and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the cabbage green and sauté for a further 2 minutes (longer for cavolo nero and the more thickly sliced Brussels sprouts).
Transfer to a bowl. While still warm pour over the dressing and toss the vegetables until evenly coated. Serve immediately.