By Caitlin Rothermel
This year, I’ve been obsessed with learning to make side dishes that capture the aromatic, vitamin C-infused flavors of summer. I’m talking about the kinds of tastes that just explode in your mouth, that also happen to have great texture, and that you yearn to experience during the autumn and winter.
This grated carrot salad does the job. I have always had trouble finding ways to use raw carrots. It’s only so much fun to sit there eating plain carrots, and big carrot chunks in conventional salads are not my thing.
A couple of important notes before beginning. This recipe was adapted from the excellent “Once Upon a Chef” blog. And, if you don’t have a food processor, don’t despair – you can grate the carrots. As someone who never uses a full-size food processor, I’d like to suggest a $40 life-changing tool – the Cuisinart mini-prep 3-cup food processor. This machine is versatile and sturdy.
1 lb peeled carrots
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
6 drops fish sauce (optional)
1 lemon (ideally, juice and zest)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped shallots or scallions
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
¼ – ½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp honey (optional, depending on how sweet your carrots are)
First, the carrots need to be shredded, by hand or in a food processor (you can also mix in the parsley and mint for this step). Next, in a bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients and mix. Add to this the shredded carrot mixture, sunflower seeds, and chopped vegetables; mix again.
Play with the ingredient amounts to find your favorite proportions. When I make this a meal on its own, I like to eat the cold salad on top of warm brown rice.