One of us loves orange! One of the brightest and most vibrant of colours, it just screams happiness, don’t you think? That’s part of the reason this carrot salad is so loved. How could you be sad, or stressed, or frustrated when you’re eating a salad that is joyful, refreshing and so, so easy to put together?
Carrots have long been a staple in our family meals. Our parents always tried to find ways to incorporate this versatile root veggie, super rich in beta-carotene and other vitamins and minerals, into our diet. They add carrots to their fakes and fasolatha, they add a few to the roasting pan when they make roasted lemon potatoes and to the chicken stock when they make avgolemono soup. When we were young, as we would head out to play, our parents would often pass us raw, peeled carrots that seemed to appear out of nowhere, to have as a snack. These were never chopped up into rounds or carrot sticks and placed neatly into a plastic bag; they didn’t have time for that. These were whole carrots, meant to be chomped on as Bugs Bunny would.
In keeping with this idea of simplicity and no nonsense, you really can’t get much easier than this salad. A few delicious ingredients, minimal skills required, and a dish which actually tastes better after it sits for a bit, this beautiful orange salad is one we think you’ll make again and again.
All of the components in this salad, except for the pomegranate seeds, are grated. You can certainly use a food processor to do this job for you, but we tend to prefer a box grater and do this by hand. It takes longer, but clean-up is easier.
Seeding pomegranates can be a bit of a pain, and someone has realized this because nowadays you can find pomegranate seeds, packaged and ready to be used, at the grocery store. Tempting to be sure, but really expensive. Although seeding your own can certainly take a bit of time, we personally think that it’s well worth the effort. Our favourite way to seed a pomegranate, and the way our parents taught us, is to cut the fruit in half width-wise. Then, immerse one half at a time in a bowl of cool water and tear away the flesh, allowing the seeds to fall into the water. The seeds will sink, and any white membrane which falls into the water will float on the surface, making it easy to remove it. This is a particularly fun job for kids, and a great way to get them involved in the kitchen.
Raw turnip might sound a bit unusual, but it is actually a delicious addition to this salad. In fact, we love raw turnip so much that we incorporate into many of our salads. Its peppery bite gives a unique and interesting flavour and is a perfect balance to the otherwise sweet nature of this salad.
We like to use Granny Smith apples in this salad because of their tartness, but you can really use any apple you like. The trick is to grate the apple last, and to then toss your salad with the dressing as quickly as possible after adding the apple, in order to prevent the apples from browning.
Once you learn to make your own salad dressing, you will probably never buy the bottled stuff again. It is really easy to come up with a salad dressing you love by following this rule of thumb: 1 part acid, 1 part sweet, 2 parts oil and a bit of mustard. Add salt and any other herbs you might like to taste and shake it all up in a mason jar. Ta da! You are now a salad dressing master!
Mia Kouppa: Grated carrot salad
- 3 cups peeled and grated carrot
- 1/2 cup peeled and grated apple
- 1/2 cup peeled and grated turnip
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon regular mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine the carrot, apple, turnip and pomegranate seeds.
- In a small jar combine the ingredients of the dressing and shake well to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Enjoy!