Roasted Red Wine, Citrus Spiced Carrots

My obsession with ABC Kitchen continues. Everything is good, but really, it’s the carrots. The carrots are haunting me.

I’ve had those roasted revelations every meal of the 4 meals I’ve had there so far, but this week they are especially on my mind. This week I began a 21-day cleanse that includes a fruit-and-veggie-only diet. With the health challenges I’ve personally faced this year, my exposure to various medications, lots of radiation, some pity-party eating habits (i.e., large portions of ice cream, tortilla chips and wine), combined with the shadow of health challenges being faced by a few of my extended family, I thought it was a good time for me to take a brief digestive break and give my immune system a chance to “reset”.

This is a diet and nutritional cleansing plan my husband routinely prescribes for his patients and while I’ve heard for years about the amazing results..weight loss, renewed energy, vitality and health…I’ve never committed to the abstention from meat, grains, dairy and sugar that it requires. Those of you who are vegetarians, may be shaking your head and saying “what’s the big deal,” but most vegetarians I know rely pretty heavily on the comfort and bulk of grains, breads and legumes to round out their meatless diets, while this cleanse, and my own gluten intolerance, rules those out.

So, while I’m glad I’m doing it, (lost 3 lbs and feeling very energized after a week)…I’m really longing for the savory flavor and satisfaction that, say, a roasted chicken gives you, but without the chicken. This is where the carrots at ABC Kitchen come in. Friday night I met Doug at his office and we walked the block and a half to ABC Kitchen, where we were going to have a quick meal, then catch my old friend, Michael, in an off-Broadway play. I, of course, ordered the carrot salad…those roasted beauties combined with avocado, peashoots, a dollop of creamy dressing(if it had sour cream in it, don’t tell me), and some incredible sour dough croutons (I waved to them, lightly, longingly touched them, but did not eat them. I am amazed by my own strength!). And I had a lovely portobello mushroom sitting in a delicate broth, but it was the roasted carrot recipe I begged the waitress for. She happily recited the ingredients: carrots, red wine, garlic, red chili flakes, cumin, lemons and oranges squeezed over the lot and left in an uncovered pan to roast. A bit of salt, I assumed. A low, slow temperature, perhaps. She gave me no proportions, and I didn’t ask, feeling confident I could intuitively bring it all together. How hard could it be with such a simple ingredient list?

The answer? Not so simple. I combined all the ingredients and duly roasted the carrots. What I got were delicious, well roasted carrots, with a citrusy spicey aroma and bite to them. A hint of acidity, a concentrated sweetness from the carrots themselves. What I did not get were the ABC Kitchen carrots. These were good. They are worth making…but they are leaving me with my longing unfulfilled.

Dear Chef Daniel Kluger, I will come in and peel a week’s worth of carrots if you let me see how these are really made. I mean it. I’ve got my peeler packed.

This recipe has been deleted because I finally got the actual recipe for these from Jean-Goeorges latest cookbook, Home Cooking With Jean-Georges and no longer have to guess! Jump to the revised recipe here.