Vegetarian Delights of NYC: Roasted Carrots at Porchetta
Porchetta, with its pig-centric menu, pig-centric name, and pig-centric display case, wouldn't seem to remotely qualify as a vegetarian paradise. And that's because it's not, as anyone who's stared down its lustrous hunks of stuffed, roasted pork can attest. But there are unlikely vegetarian delights to be had, thanks to the constantly changing roster of vegetable sides that Sara Jenkins makes to accompany her restaurant's eponymous attraction.
Among them are Jenkins' roasted carrots with pomegranate molasses and cilantro. The chef gives vegetables the same lusty treatment she applies to pork: The purple, yellow, and orange carrots are roasted in olive oil to the point of melting tenderness, their edges a rich, caramelized brown. They're doused with pomegranate molasses, an underexploited ingredient that punctuates the carrots' mellow sweetness with tart aplomb. Plentiful cilantro actually tastes more like parsley, but has the same welcome effect of brightening the dish without overwhelming it. And best of all, the whole thing is served steaming hot.
An approximately half-pint serving of the carrots costs $6, and is worth every one of them, given both the quality of the ingredients and their ability to satisfy an appetite sharpened by the cold. But get them while you can: Because they're listed as a special, they have a short menu lifespan. Fortunately, Jenkins has plenty more vegetarian-friendly sides where those carrots came from, and posts updates on the restaurant's Twitter page.
110 East 7th Street