Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Carrot Salad

I have started making this salad again after being bored with it for a long time. I prefer Carrot salad as simple as possible i.e. grated carrot, best quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil plus freshly grated black pepper and sea salt. I sometimes replace the balsamic vinegar with lemon or sherry vinegar. I sometimes add raisins or chopped dried apricots but the variations to this simple salad are astonishing.

I googled Carrot Salad and got 1.5 million hits with a really wide selection of methods for preparing the salad. A lot of these where for cooked carrot salad whereas I like raw carrot salad and for variations on the classic French bistro salad whereby they add remolade to the grated carrot. While I love the remolade method it does appear slightly besides the point to lather the carrot up in mayo if I’m trying to eat healthily.

Basic ingredients:

  • Grated Carrot;
  • Best quality olive oil (really do use the best this is a raw salad and you will taste the quality of the oil);
  • Balsamic vinegar (same comment with regards to quality applies);
  • Freshly grated black pepper;
  • Sea salt;

Potential additional ingredients:

  • Dried apricots (finely chopped);
  • Raisins;
  • Celery slices (very finely chopped);
  • Apples preferably grated;
  • Coarsely chopped almonds;
  • Roasted pine nuts;
  • Chives;
  • Shallots (let them marinade in cold water for 5 min to cut the bitterness of the shallot);
  • Grated white turnips (finely grated is important for turnips);
  • Peas and/or beans;
Potential additional dressing ingredients:
  • Lemmon or lime (instead of balsamic);
  • Sherry vinegar (instead of balsamic);
  • Walnut oil (just a dash into the olive oil);
  • Soy sauce (with lemon or lime not balsamic);
  • Yogurt;
  • Mustard preferably Dijon or mustard seeds;
    Worcestershire sauce (¼ tsp);
  • Ground ginger;
  • Fresh mint or flat leave parsley or coriander;
  • Ground cumin;

And I can go on and on. A lot of recipes contain sugar and or honey but I think that’s unnecessary as the carrot is quite sweet enough as it is. One variation that I’m quite exited about but have not tried is to cut the carrot lengthwise into 5 mm think sticks and roasting them before making the salad as before. Will be trying this soon.

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