You watched us prepare a low-carbon holiday dinner and it looked like so much fun, you couldn’t wait to do it yourself.

Carrot salad (minorly tweaked from Jenn Segal)

  • 1 pound carrots (I never peel mine)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB lemon juice, divided, from one lemon
  • 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 TB honey
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (I like extra)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (ditto)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and mint
  • Half shallot, minced
  1. Combine the minced shallot and 2 TB lemon juice with a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir to cover the shallot and set aside.
  2. Use a food processor to grate the carrots. (You can also grate them by hand if you’re both food-processorless and more graceful than me, but I always manage to pulverize my fingers.)
  3. Combine mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk with a fork to blend.
  4. No more than an hour but no less than 15 minutes before serving, combine the grated carrots, pickled shallot, dressing, and chopped herbs.

Vegetarian cassoulet (minorly tweaked from Bon Appétit)

  • 3 medium leeks
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 4 garlic cloves + 1 TB chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 parsley sprigs + 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10-12 oz dried Great Northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight* and drained
  • 1 quart vegetable broth or water
  • 4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from a stale country loaf, baguette, or something similar)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thinly slice the leeks, carrots, and celery, and chop garlic.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (or a mix of butter and olive oil, if you want to be a little decadent) over medium-high heat, and sautée the vegetables until they start to brown. Add the garlic, thyme and parsley springs, and bay leaf, and sautée for another minute or two. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Add drained beans and vegetable broth. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are totally tender and falling apart and the broth has thickened.
  5. While the cassoulet is cooking, make the breadcrumbs. Toss crumbs with 1/4 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until they’re evenly coated with oil. Spread over a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and crisp. (Check at 15 minutes.)
  6. If necessary, use a wooden spoon to smash some of the beans into the broth and thicken the cassoulet a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled (generously) with breadcrumbs.

*To quick-soak, bring beans to a boil for about about 2 minutes, turn off heat, and then cover. If I’m doing this, I like to add half an onion, some whole unpeeled garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Mashed potatoes (Eve Andrews original, baby)

  • 5-6 russet potatoes (I never peel mine)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) of butter (or Smart Balance if you’d like to make this vegan, but decrease to 3 TB)
  • 1-2 cups whole milk (or oat milk or soy milk if you’d like to make this vegan)
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
  1. Chop the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and add to a pot with lots of salted water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the potatoes start to fall apart. Pour out the potatoes in a colander.
  2. Use a food mill to grate the potatoes back into the same pot.
  3. Throw in the butter (maybe cut it into pieces first), and add milk gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the potatoes get to the consistency you like.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of salt! Never too much salt on a potato!

Riz au lait, aka rice pudding (via Leite’s Culinaria)

  • 1 cup uncooked short-grain rice
  • 4 TB sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small orange, zested and juiced ( 1/3 cup juice, 2 tsp zest)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups whole milk or oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or omit altogether, if you’re making this vegan)
  • Ground cloves or nutmeg to dust
  1. Combine rice in saucepan with a cup of water. Boil for five minutes, then drain rice into a colander.
  2. Return rice to saucepan with 1 TB sugar, salt, orange zest, vanilla, and milk. Stir to evenly distribute all the ingredients, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer at very low temperature for about 30 minutes, until rice has completely fallen apart and the pudding is very thick.
  4. Add butter and orange juice and stir to combine.
  5. Serve warm, with ground cloves or nutmeg dusted on top.

And that video we mentioned? You can check it out here, too:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!