This recipe is quite simple but extremely tasty, and quite refreshing. The vibrant orange of the salad adds some loveliness brightness to our otherwise grey European winter days. The recipe is based on a recipe in Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, but I’ve modified it a bit to suit my own tastes. Here’s my in-progress version of the recipe. I’ve doubled the amount of carrots because carrot salad makes such nice leftovers, and I can eat it days on end without getting tired of it. If you don’t have a food processor and don’t feel like grating 2 pounds of carrots by hand, by all means cut the recipe back down.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil (Berley calls for 2 Tbs.)
- 2 Tbs. honey (Berley’s recipe doesn’t use any sweetener)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (Berley calls for 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (Berley doesn’t specify an amount)
- 1 tsp. aleppo pepper (Berley calls for 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives)
- 2 pounds carrots, grated (Berley says to peel them, I’m not sure whether that’s necessary)
- 75 grams currants (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped mint, packed (Berley calls for 1/4 cup, and doesn’t say whether it should be packed or not)
My bowl-saving instructions: In a large salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, lemon juice, salt, and aleppo pepper. Add the carrots, currants, and mint and toss to combine.
I really like the combination of the carrots and currants, and the bright orange salad contrasts nicely with the green vegetables and darker colors of the Moroccan tempeh that Berley pairs it with in Fresh Food Fast. However, the original salad recipe was just a bit bland, in my opinion. I could barely taste the mint, so I added another tablespoon, but it still wasn’t very minty. Next time I would double the mint. The currants add sweetness, and the lemon juice adds acid, but it still wasn’t quite as peppy as I would like, so I added a touch of pineapple juice, which added both a little more sweet and a little more acid. In future attempts I had no pineapple juice so just used honey for the sweetener. I also tossed the salad with some aleppo pepper, which added a warm heat that I enjoyed. This salad is definitely a good start, but it needs a bit of work to be perfect, I think. If making this with a high fat entree (like Berley’s Moroccan tempeh) then I might also try cutting down (or out) the olive oil.
If you can’t find currants you can use raisins, but the smaller currants blend in better with the grated carrots.
My rating: B+
There’s another version of this recipe in The Anjelica Home Kitchen cookbook. Berley is not listed as an author but I believe he was the chef at the restaurant around the time the cookbookw as written. The recipe’s headnotes say it’s based on a traditional Moroccan recipe. The recipe in that cookbook is slightly different than the one in Fresh Food Fast. The doubled recipe is:
- 6 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- two pinches of white pepper
- 2 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 6 Tbs. currants
- 6 Tbs. fresh mint leaves, minced
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 4 Tbs. finely chopped chives
There recipe calls for more lemon juice than my current version, but I think the amount of lemon juice may depend on the amount of olive oil you use. The more olive oil the more the lemon will be muted, and the more you’ll need. It’s a bit strange to call for 6 Tbs. mint leaves (i.e., before they’re minced). How do you measure tablespoons of unminced mint leaves? The recipe suggests serving the salad over a bed of tender lettuce, to highlight the contrast between the light green of the lettuce, the dark green of the mint, and the bright orange of the carrots.