What I usually really want to do with carrots is to turn them into something that plays up their sweetness, and this time was no different — at first. Yes, it was always going to be a salad — technically, anyway — but I planned to throw in some dessert ingredients and then dress the whole thing with maple syrup or pineapple juice or something equally sweet. However, when the grated carrots and nuts and berries were all there in the bowl and I tasted them, I got a strong feeling that what they needed was not more sweetness, it was salt. Oh yes, and umami. Well, I knew where to get that, without even any MSG.
This salad takes some fall and winter type ingredients and brings them into summer. It’s crunchy, tangy, easy to make, and even good for you. The almonds and cranberries can be pricey, but a little of them goes a long way. I got mine out of the bulk bins, paying only for as much as I needed.
I used natural slivered almonds, with the skin still on, but only because I liked the rustic look. It’s your choice.
This would probably be a good time to say a few words about carrots. For one thing, they should be washed before you peel them. Why wash peel that you’re just going to throw into the compost? The blade of the peeler or knife you use is going to go through the peel, possibly transferring dirt and bacteria to the flesh. I know, being so careful is a pain, but so is getting sick.
When you’re grating carrots — on a cheese grater, that is, and not too fine a grater — don’t try to reduce the entire vegetable to shreds. You’ll just cut yourself. If the last bit of carrot bothers you, save it to toss into soup or something.
Finally, if you can find the extra large Nantes carrots, try them. They’re faster and easier to peel and grate, and they taste just as good as ordinary sized carrots, if not better and sweeter. Also, since they taper very little, there’s less waste (they don’t get too narrow to peel). One of them would be more than enough for this recipe.
- 1 ½ cups grated carrot (about 4 medium carrots)
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with soy sauce and mix well.
- Serve cold.