Warning: Over the next week, I plan to bombard you with carrot salad recipes. My new julienne slicer has me looking at carrots in a whole new light.
Full Disclosure: I am not a huge fan of carrots. I recognize their culinary necessity and respect their nutritional integrity, but they just don’t impress me like a stalk of crisp-tender asparagus or sweet, crunchy bell peppers. Prior to these vibrant salads, I merely tolerated carrots.
The good news is that apparently you can teach a 40 year-old cook new tricks. From this week forward, carrot salads will play a more prominent role on our table. Even Marco embraced this salad which is saying something given his penchant for ice cream, candy and all food naughty.
This salad is France’s cole slaw. Apparently while lucky French cooks are picking up their bakery-made puff pastry to whip up a gorgeous, impromptu tarts, they can also pick up pre-grated carrots for Salade de Carottes Râpées. This salad is that popular.
In researching recipes, I turned to my American experts on the ground in Paris, Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz. Greenspan’s recipe had honey in the dressing and raisins in the salad. Lebovitz’s recipe was more austere and authentic, only suggesting the possibility of seasoning the dressing with some Dijon mustard.
Dueling carrot salads? Both recipes were very good, each deserving a post. It makes sense to start with the classic version and move onto more contemporary renditions.
Classic Grated Carrot Salad
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Living the Sweet Life in Paris
7 large carrots, rinsed and peeled, about 1 lb.
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
Grate the carrots using the largest holes on a box grater or in a food processor. Alternatively, slice the carrots with julienne slicer. Place prepped carrots into a mixing bowl. Add the parsley and toss to combine.
In a separate container whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over carrots and toss well.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.