3 grams agar agar (a seaweed used to thicken, a vegetarian gelatin—can be purchased at Whole Foods or Amazon)
200 grams carrot juice
100 grams orange juice
For English Peas
1 cup or 300 grams shelled peas
Tangerine olive oil, or regular olive oil to taste
Shaved baby carrots, baby carrot tops, for garnish
For Carrot Puree
1. Pour cream into a heavy pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until it is reduced by half. Remove from the heat.
2. Add carrot juice to reduced cream. Set aside.
3. In large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add bay leaf and onion. Sweat the onion without browning it.
4. Add carrots, sweat them for 1−2 minutes to coat them in your onion butter. Add the juice and cream mixture. Simmer until tender and then remove from the heat.
5. Remove bay leaf and puree the carrot reduction until smooth.
6. Season to taste with salt. Chill mixture in the refrigerator.
For Carrot Caviar
1. Take a deep container, add about 1 quart of salad oil and freeze it.
2. Combine agar agar with cold carrot juice in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about two minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Pour in orange juice. Let cool a minute, then pour it into a squirt bottle.
4. Before the carrot gelee sets, take your frozen salad oil out of the freezer and carefully drip the carrot gelee drop by drop onto the frozen salad oil surface. The droplets of carrot gelee will freeze up upon contact with the frozen surface, forming perfectly rounded pea-sized “caviar.” Scoop them up, rinse off the oil, and set aside. (This will hold its shape for a few days if you want to make in advance.)
For English Peas
1. Soak peas in ice water for about 20 minutes.
2. Bring large pot of salty water to a boil. Add the peas a few at a time to maintain a rapid boil. Cook them in batches, about 30 seconds per batch.
3. Scoop them out and shock them again in an ice bath. Remove, set aside, keep cold.
1. In small bowl or glass, put layer of carrot puree on bottom. Dress the cold peas in a little tangerine olive oil or plain olive oil and a little salt and add a layer of peas.
2. Sprinkle “caviar” on top.
3. Garnish with shaved baby carrot and baby carrot tops/fronds and drizzle with more tangerine olive oil.
*Please note: In my cooking, I use grams, because weight is always a more precise and consistent measurement than volume. I highly recommend using a home scale. It’s worth the investment.