Friday, March 6, 2009

Moroccan Carrot Salad

I am getting really burned out on winter and uninspired by the same old offerings at the local market (hence my lack of recent postings!). This is especially true when it comes to the produce section. Because of our short "high country" growing season we have to rely on produce that has been trucked cross country or from another country at least half the year. This usually means things are harvested before they are ripe and ready and a LARGE amount of petroleum is necessary to get them here.

One thing that is pretty consistent in terms of quality are some California grown carrots that are in the organic section of the grocery. They are in bunches with the green tops still attached. Unlike most grocery store variety carrots that have long since been removed from their chlorophyll-ed appendage and are cracked and drying (i.e. dying) these guys are sweet and delicious. To get the full nutritional benefit I like to serve them raw with a simple dressing. I washed and peeled them, cut them into about 1.5 inch sections and ran them through the julienne blades of the mandoline. Feel free to use a knife and make whatever cut you fancy.

The dressing is pretty simple:

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp. Honey (or Agave Nectar)
Zest of one Lemon
1/8 cup Chopped Cilantro
1/8 cup. Chopped Mint
1 tsp. Coriander
1/8 tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
Salt (Either to taste in the dressing or use a finishing salt, like Maldon, on top)

You could easily make an Asian version by substituting the Olive Oil with Sesame Oil, the Lemon Juice with Rice Wine Vinegar and adding additional ingredients like: Thai Basil, Fish Sauce, Black Sesame Seeds, 5 Spice Powder, etc.

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