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Carrot Hot Dogs with Fennel Pepper Slaw & Buttermilk Dressing

Yes, you read that right, these are “carrot hot dogs”! With our vegetarian recipes we’re leaning toward using vegetables as the center piece, in lieu of processed soy or wheat products. The results are healthy and delicious! This is not the first time we’ve made “Carrot Dogs“, in the winter roasted carrots make a great version. This recipe was made with the grill and picnics in mind!

Carrot Hot Dogs with Fennel Pepper Slaw & Buttermilk Dressing

To make sure the carrots would cook all the way through, I parboiled them before charring on the grill. If you’re feeling adventurous you could use a zone method to grill them. Char over high heat and then move to a cooler part of the grill to finish. I think they’d take at least 30 minutes this way. Parboiling is easy, and you won’t have to guess if the carrots are finished. Either way will work fine!

Carrot Hot Dogs & Fennel Pepper Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing

Carrot Hot Dogs with Fennel Pepper Slaw & Buttermilk Dressing

You can prep the slaw pretty quickly while the carrots are boiling. Like a lot of things, a food processor with a slicing blade works best for getting the fennel into super thin slices. If you don’t have one use a mandoline, or just carefully slice the peppers and fennel as thin as possible. If the vegetables look at all watery, drain before tossing with the dressing. I love the purple pepper here (which is actually an unripe pepper that ultimately turn orange and yellow), but any variety of bell pepper will do.

Fennel Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing Fennel Buttermilk Slaw

For the dressing, this easy buttermilk yogurt dressing is my new favorite for any salad. Mix plain yogurt with tangy buttermilk, then season generously with black pepper, salt, and garlic. Finish with red wine vinegar and chives. I might be stretching a bit, but this dressing tastes like a healthy version of ranch. I’m whipping up a larger batch to keep on hand for dipping! If the yogurt and buttermilk combo is too tangy for you, sub sour cream for half of the yogurt.

Fennel Slaw

Grilled Sausage & Fennel Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing

4 large carrots, as straight and evenly sized as possible
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
hot dog buns or rolls
condiments like mustard, etc

1 fennel bulb
1 bell pepper, any variety
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 small garlic clove, grated

Remove the tops and bottoms from the carrots, then peel. Bring a medium size pot of salted water to a boil, and boil for about 12 minutes until the carrots are softened and fork easily pokes through. Drain and pat dry.

Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Combine the seasonings and olive oil in small bowl and pour over the carrots. Use a silicon brush to make sure the carrots are coated in the mixture before grilling. Grill carrots on high, turning so that all sides get grill marks.

Toast bread if desired. Serve carrots and slaw on toasted rolls with all the fixings!

Make the slaw. Remove the very bottom of the fennel bulb and the green tops, then slice into quarters. Slice the pepper in half and remove the core and stem. Use a food processor or mandoline (sharp knife if you don’t have either) to shred the fennel bulb and pepper into super-thin slices. Toss together in a bowl.

Mix the dressing to combine, taste and add more black pepper or salt if necessary. Toss the dressing and vegetables together.

Cook the sausages until browned and cooked through – on a grill over medium high heat flipping occasionally. Or roast at 400°F for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Toast bread if desired. Serve sausages and slaw on toasted rolls with all the fixings!

Carrot Hot Dogs - a perfect vegetarian option for the grill!

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