Vegetables and I are not on talking terms at present. We hardly eat together now. It’s terrible. I’m working on a reconciliation, and I’m making progress, but it’s halting. There is, however, one exception: carrots. Raw carrots and I are still not sharing the same plate, but ever since I discovered this recipe for carrot salad, I have literally been making it on repeat so I always have a serving or two in the fridge. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I am having a love affair with cooked carrots (I am also roasting carrots with a newfound abandon).
I love this salad so much that I thought I should share it. It’s based on an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty, which I am dipping in and out of with enjoyment. I have made some amendments to his recipe, though, and I can’t imagine eating the salad without them. One thing, though: if, like me, you play fast and loose with amounts of spices (I find measuring them in increments of spoonfuls quite restrictive and counter-intuitive) then at least don’t skimp on the cumin (I have kept it the same as the original, as with all the spice quantities) – to me, it really makes this salad and complements the carrots as much as the salad does any meal I have it with.
Note: this looks like a lot of ingredients, but the majority are spices. Once you have those, then it is very straightforward, so please don’t be put off by the seemingly long list! I prepare all the ingredients first – chopping, grating, peeling et al – and then it’s a simple task from then.
Here is my version of it, and if you make it I’d love to hear what you think of it!
Recipe: Spicy Carrot Salad
1kg carrots, peeled and cut into 1 cm chunks (all the pieces should be roughly the same size)
50-60ml olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp honey (more to taste if you like)
3 garlic cloves, crushed or grated
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Small handful of sultanas, rinsed
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon skin (see note below)
Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
Chilled Greek yoghurt/Skyr
1 – Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes – the carrots should be tender but still crunchy. Drain and leave the carrots to dry in a colander.
2 – Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat and sauté the onion until soft and slightly brown (about 10 minutes).
3 – Add the carrots to the onions, and then the remaining ingredients. Stir it all well to distribute the spices over the carrots, and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
4 – Before serving, stir in the coriander if desired. Serve warm or cold with a generous dollop of thick yoghurt (I find it very spicy without the yoghurt, so it’s the perfect balancing ingredient).