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Fear Conquered: Canless Copper Pennies
“Most of what I make you like,” I say, pretending to be offended. But I’m not. Not even a little. And while I probably shouldn’t be smirking inside, I am. And smirking a little outside too.
“Just please tell me this is the last time I have to eat these,” Boyfriend Javelin says. He stabs his fork into one of the carrot medallions and stares before biting it off the fork. And making an exaggerated face of disgust. “Just, please, tell it’s the last time.”
“It is,” I promise. But I can’t stop a little grin. “Oh, come on. It’s even better this time cause I fixed a couple things.”
“So you’re done testing, done with photos, done completely?” Boyfriend Javelin asks, piercing another carrot piece and attempting to snag a bit of onion and pepper. “This is it?”
“Yep,” I say, really grinning now. “Mmmmm…” I croon over a bit of carrot. “Don’t you love it?” And chuckle as he makes a gagging noise. “Come on,” I say, half seriously. “These are good.”
“Maybe if you like carrots masquerading as tomatoes,” Boyfriend Javelin says. And coughs a little on another bite. “I’m just not a fan of carrots like this.”
Which is a valid reason not to love this salad. In fact, this is the kind of salad only one raised on church-potlucks can appreciate. It’s sweet, it’s sharp, it’s sour, it’s crunchy. And yes, it’s even tomatoey. And If you’re a potluck fan, you’ve probably already familiar with this salad and you know I can take no credit for it’s origins.
But unlike the original Copper Pennies salad, I’ve switched-up the carrot cooking technique to reduce lost nutrients and improve the texture. I’ve also ditched the canned tomato soup and granulated sugar. Canned soups - like most canned products - include a troublesome canning chemical called BPA and a variety of shelf-stabilizing preservatives. The granulated sugar is unnecessarily refined for this recipe, so I personally prefer the marginally more healthful honey.
Despite these changes, one bite of this salad and you’ll swear you just sat down to a church potluck. Or at least to your last torturous meal of carrots masquerading as tomatoes. In which case, no complaints because you’ve been warned.
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|In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to the boil. While the water heats, slice the carrots into medallions.|
|Dice 1 medium green bell pepper.|
|Halve and slice 1 medium yellow onion.|
|In a large measure, whisk the dressing ingredients together until thoroughly combined.|
|Add the sliced carrots to the boiling water and simmer for 1 minute; drain and set aside.|
|Add the dressing to the saucepan and bring to the boil.|
|Remove the dressing from the heat and add the carrots, pepper and onions.|
|Mix thoroughly to combine. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours (best if overnight).|
|Serve chilled for best flavor.|
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Copper Pennies Carrot Salad
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 1 min
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 4 cups purified water
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots, sliced into medallions
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup homemade tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
- In a large sauce pan, bring the water to a simmer and add the sliced carrots; cook the carrots for 1 minute, then drain and set aside
- In the same sauce pan, combine the dressing ingredients and bring to the boil; remove from heat and add the carrots, bell pepper and onion. Stir thoroughly and let cool to room temperature
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 6 hours (best if overnight); for best flavor, serve chilled
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Hungry for Tips?
- One-Dish Salad: I like to reduce the number of dirty dishes when I can and with vintage CorningWare, that’s easy. I use the same 3 quart dish to boil the water, cook the carrots, prepare the dressing and finally chill and serve. With a sealable plastic lid, transport to picnics (or potlucks) is easy and when the dish is empty, both the lid and dish go right into the dishwasher.
- Tomato Paste: Making your own homemade tomato paste is easy and check out my technique and tips for help. If you decide to use store-bought tomato paste, it’s a little more intensely tomatoey so use 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup.
- Celery Seed: If you don’t have celery seed or just don’t like the flavor of celery, leave it out. I like just a hint of celery flavor, but too much and it will overpower the other salad flavors.
- Ribbed Carrots: For presentation reason, I really like the look of ribbed carrot medallions. I use a ribbed vegetable cutter to achieve the look, but don’t run out and buy one just for this salad. Because the carrots will cook and taste the same regardless.
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