I turn the big 3-0 this week and this blog is something of a gift to myself, a fresh hobby to ring in a new decade. While I assure you this very important birthday will be marked by cake at some point, today it is marked by carrots. But they aren't just any carrots. They're the new rainbow mix that just appeared at our Whole Foods. I sincerely hope they aren't just pinch hitting for Thanksgiving because, goodness look at them!
This salad is a riff on one I've made several times with grated carrots. While wonderful, I wanted to give a new version a whirl. A version for those I-don't-want-to-pull-out-the-Cuisinart-and-clean-all-those-attachments days. And I'll say this hit the mark.
Happy birthday to moi!
I cut these into your classic 'carrot stick' shape but really any cut would do - large chunks, small coins, whatever you please. The lengthwise cuts here highlight the awesome golden core of the purple carrots.
If you're not a garlic enthusiast you may want to proceed with caution. The bite of the raw garlic is an awesome foil for the carrots' sweetness, but scale back according to your taste.
Rainbow carrots aside, nigella seeds are really the star of the show here. I was introduced to these little buggers recently and have been sprinkling with abandon ever since. They're edgy - literally, shaped like roughly chiseled sesame seeds. The flavor is subtle, a little smoky, a little peppery but their visual effect is striking. I haven't seen these widely available in grocery stores yet but of course we live in the golden age of specialty food mail order so not a problem.
- 6-10 carrots, peeled
- Olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and ground to paste
- 1 tsp. nigella seeds
- 2 Tbs. chopped parsley (have dill, mint, basil on hand? sub or a try a combo)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- Peel carrots and cut to your liking; I did your classic 'carrot stick' shape though you easily do big chunks or coins
- Bring salted water to a boil (use enough water to submerge carrots by 1 inch)
- Cook carrots in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork but not yet mushy (cooking time will depend on size of your cuts)
- Drain carrots, let cool
- Grind garlic in mortar + pestle until you have a thick paste (adding a pinch of salt helps this along)
- Place carrots in serving dish, dress with lemon juice, a few glugs of olive oil, garlic and nigella seeds
- Give it all a stir, top with chopped parsley and feta
- Serve at room temperature
Make ahead and marinate in the fridge to amp up the garlic factor.