13 September 2012
Hooray for salad!
This is the kind of thing I make when I think there's nothing to eat in the house, and yet I want a fast and easy mouthful of bright crisp vegetable flavors.
Carrots and garlic are nearly always hanging around in our kitchen. We have a lemon tree, so I never have any problem finding some lemon juice and zest. And of course olive oil is the pantry staple to end all pantry staples. So this salad is just about always possible--which is great, because it's delicious.
Carrot is the perfect bridge between summer and fall. What other root vegetable is so fresh, bright, and juicy? Sure, we'll be roasting them up with parsnips, onions, and thyme pretty soon--but while the sun is still out, I'm definitely on board with a raw and crunchy salad arrangement.
Carrot salad with garlic and lemon
Scrub your carrots under the tap and shred with a box grater. I used two medium carrots. Put your shredded carrot in a reasonable bowl.
Smash a couple of cloves of garlic with the flat of your knife, peel them, and mince them finely. Add them to the carrot. (If you're not into raw garlic, it's fine to reduce the amount.)
Strip a few wide pieces of zest off half a lemon. Slice them up finely with your knife and add them to the carrot and garlic. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half into the bowl of veg, catching any seeds with your fingers.
Add a glug or two of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and a couple good grinds of pepper. Mix well and taste for seasoning.
Let your salad rest for at least a half hour before eating, so the flavors have a chance to mix. Then go to town.
While I will absolutely eat a big scoop or two of this carrot salad on the side of pretty much any sandwich, I really like it best IN the sandwich. If you like lavash or pita with hummus or baba ghanouj, you could do way worse than to add a whole lot of this salad. Bagel with cream cheese? Throw on a spoonful of salad--or better yet, mix it in with your cream cheese and spread that on your bagel. Regular old turkey on rye with mustard and lettuce? Salad. It's really good.
I also like this on the side of a bowl of soup, but I could absolutely see using it as a garnish for things like cream of cauliflower, potato leek, or bright green spinach soup. Or putting it on a piece of toast and having a pseudo-half sandwich with said soup. It's all good.
What's your favorite early fall salad?