Fall Foods Are Back: DC Chef Shares Recipe for Salt-Cured Carrots and Ancient Grains Salad

Chef Austin Fausett of Penn Quarter's Proof restaurant visited NBC Washington to talk about his hearty and healthy fall menu.

As the temperature begins to drop, fall foods are back in D.C. restaurants. Chef Austin Fausett of Penn Quarter's Proof restaurant visited NBC Washington to talk about his hearty and healthy fall menu. 

Here is Fausett's recipe for salt-cured carrots and an heirloom grains salad. The dish includes roasted vegetables, an ancient grain called Freekeh, a Greek yogurt sauce and goat cheese-stuffed peppers.

Salt-Cured Carrots and Heirloom Grains Salad (serves 4):

Salt-Cured Carrots

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cups salt
  • 3 organic heirloom carrots

1. Cure the carrots by burying them in the salt and sugar mixture, cover and set aside overnight

2. Rinse the carrots off and roast them at 350 degrees until they are fork tender, about 20 minutes

Freekeh / Ancient Grains

  • 4 cups Freekeh ancient grains
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. local green beans
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 oz. Pinot Gris wine
  • salt
  • white pepper

1. Pan roast cauliflower cauliflower for two minutes on each side.

2. Oven roast cherry tomatoes at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.

3. Blanch green beans in large pot of salted boiling water for 3 minutes.

4. Blanch potatoes in salted boiling water and smoke them on a grill using apple wood chips covered with foil for 5-10 minutes. Alternately, potatoes can be oven roasted.

5. In a medium in sauce pan, sweat the shallots, garlic, and grains. If you can't find Freekeh you could use farro or bulgur wheat. Add wine and stock and cook until the moisture is absorbed. Season the cooked grains with salt and pepper. Mix cooked grains with roasted vegetables.


  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest of one lemon

Mix ingredients together and combine with ancient grains.

Roasted Bell Pepper Involtini

  • 2 roasted bell peppers
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted fennel seed, ground
  • Salt
  • White pepper

1. Roast bell peppers on the grill or stovetop flame until they are charred. Cover with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam while they cool.

2. While they are cooling, mix goat cheese with ground fennel, orange zest, salt and white pepper.

3. Clean cooled roasted bell peppers by removing all black skin and seeds. Cut into four sections.

4. Layer each quarter of the peppers with goat cheese filling and roll each piece into involtini.

Vadouvan Spiced Labne

  • 1 pt. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 T Vadouvan spice
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients together to incorporate.

To assemble the dish, place the Vadouvan spiced labne on the base of a plate, layer ancient grain vegetable salad on top, and finish with the roasted cured carrots and involtini. Garnish with olive oil.

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