What do you all think about the new pop-up dining craze?
For those of you who may not know, pop-up dining is when a small restaurant appears in random and/or previously vacant space for a limited time, sometimes only one night. Personally, I think it’s a great idea!! Serving a specialized menu or sometimes themed, pop-up restaurants offer patrons something different from what is normally locally available and helps turn going out to dinner into a social community event. Unfortunately, one of the draw backs of pop-up dining is that it is typically a set menu with limited vegetarian and vegan options.
I found this recipe on online from Pop-Up Dining Auckland. I have only recently found out about this group, but I am very excited to see that they not only are very creative with their events (the last one being Viking themed), but that often these events are Vegan. The next Vegan pop-up dining event, Vegan Latino, is on July 3rd, and tickets are on-sale now. Being American, I love Latino/Mexican food, and I am thinking I need to check out this yummy Vegan goodness myself. Here’s hoping tickets will still be available when my next paycheck comes in. Anyone want to go with me?
Further endearing this group to me, they seem to openly post some their recipes on-line inviting and encouraging people to try to make the food they have tasted for themselves. This recipe was one of the items they served during their recent Mediterranean Vegan pop-up dining event, held at Kokako. They called it Carrot Jam, but when I made the recipe, the consistency and texture is much more similar to what I would call a relish; hence the name change.
The flavors found in Mediterranean food are usually fresh and vibrant playing on the contrast between sweet and savory. This recipe for Mediterranean Spiced Carrot Relish certainly fits that description. Much of this recipe is based on your own personal tastes, and you have to work it it a bit to get the sweet savory balance right, but the results are well worth the effort. I am looking forward to eating this carrot relish with some feta and avocado on a cracker, or maybe as a topping for a falafel burger.
Mediterranean Spiced Carrot Relish
by: Pop-Up Dining Auckland
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 carrots, grated
- 1 onion, grated
- orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
- orange zest
- apple cider vinegar
- brown sugar
Take a tablespoon of mustard seeds and one of cumin seeds and fry in hot oil until it smells nice and the mustard seeds pop.
Add about 5 grated carrots and a grated onion and let it sweat over a med heat. Then add orange juice and zest, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Here you will need to judge and taste. A rough guide is about 1 part juice to 2 parts vinegar and then a cup of sugar. You need some liquid to show in the bottom of the pan and you may need to add more as it cooks.
Cover pan with a lid and cook for ages; it is jam after all. If it starts to dry out, add more juice and vinegar and suagr to counter the acidity. Add salt as well. Keep cooking and tasting. If its too vinegary for you, add more sugar, to sweet add more vinegar. You get the idea. It should end up rich and sticky. Leave it to cool, refrigerate and eat tomorrow.