Sephardic Carrot and Asparagus Salad
2 lbs carrots, peeled
1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ lengths
4 T olive oil (lemon flavored if you have it)
2 onions, cut in half and then sliced into thin 1/2 moons
1/2 tsp each hot red pepper flakes, paprika, ground cumin
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and the zest from the lemon
Cut the carrots into 2″ lengths and then quarter each length (or use peeled baby carrots cut in 1/2 lengthwise). In a large skillet with high sides combine the carrots, a pinch of salt and enough cold water to cover. Heat until water boils, then lower heat and simmer the carrots for about 7 minutes. Reserve the liquid. Remove the carrots to a large bowl.
Add the asparagus to the same liquid in which the carrots cooked, boil for 3 minutes, reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid to a measuring cup and remove the asparagus to a colander. Immediately refresh the asparagus with cold water and drain.
In the same skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat till hot (but NOT smoking). Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the reserved liquid and the spices (except the cayenne), bring to a boil. Add the carrots and simmer uncovered for ~ 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, the cayenne and salt to taste.
Add lemon juice and zest just before serving. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature and leftovers are great cold on a green salad. Serves 8 or more.