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March 17, 2009

A Lighter Take on Maple Syrup

Maine Maple Sunday, which falls this year on March 22, is a chance to see local syrup producers at their craft. Sugarhouses throughout the state will be open for tours and tastings, with pancakes and vanilla ice cream to go around. 

Running sap signals the retreat of winter. It won’t be long before farmers’ markets return, offering spring’s first delicate greens. This easy salad balances the sweetness of maple-roasted carrots with peppery arugula and tart cranberries; almonds and celery provide a fresh crunch. If you overdo it on the pancakes next weekend, follow them up with this light, seasonal lunch.   

Green Salad with Maple Roasted Carrots

1 cup sliced carrots, in thin 1-inch strips (3-4 young carrots)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons maple syrup 

4 cups baby arugula

½ cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup sliced raw almonds

Heat the oven to 400°. Toss the sliced carrots with the olive oil and maple syrup. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Allow the carrots to cool to room temperature before combining them with the arugula, celery, cranberries, and almonds in a salad bowl. Drizzle with maple vinaigrette dressing. 

Simple Maple Vinaigrette

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon syrup

1/3 teaspoon salt

Serves 2.

If you're looking for other creative ways to use maple syrup, try out the Maine Maple Granola Bars at Mitten Machen.

Mary Lake is a writer, teacher, columnist for MF&L, and vegetarian blogger: Mitten Machen


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