Carrots – they’re delicious, nutritious, and are a great way to add color to your dishes. They’re full of flavor, make an eye-catching presentation, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Their unusual color is one of their most noteworthy features – but where does that color come from? Carrots get their distinctive orange color from beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant and immune-system booster found in fruits and vegetables, and carrots are the best source. Carrots are also high in fiber and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and vitamin A. They’re also rich in minerals like iron and copper.
In this recipe, carrots team up with crisp green beans, spicy chilies, and a flavorful Asian dressing base. If you prefer a less spicy version, substitute one small green bell pepper, sliced thin, for the chilies. To avoid irritation, be sure to wash your hands frequently when handling chilies, and take care not to touch your eyes as you cook with them.
This dish is best made ahead of time and allowed to chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. It works especially well as a side dish for barbecues, or as a salad course served with your favorite Chinese or Thai entrees.
Spicy Asian Carrot and Green Bean Salad
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine
1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 small green chilies, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 9-ounce package linguine noodles
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup green onions, sliced thin
Stir all ingredients except for green beans, linguine, carrots and onions in a medium bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture stand for about half an hour to make sure flavors blend well.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add green beans and boil for about two minutes. Drain off hot water and immediately run cold water over green beans. Allow beans to cool thoroughly, then drain again, pat dry and set aside.
Bring another large pot of water to boil. Add the linguine noodles and cook until just tender, for about seven or eight minutes. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water, then drain again.
Combine the green beans, pasta, carrots, green onions and dressing in a large bowl, tossing gently to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to six hours before serving.
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