Carrot harvest is always a little bittersweet at Casa SoupAddict. It’s the one crop I’m chronically late in sowing, so the carrots don’t mature until late August.
Which means their emergence signals the end of the summer — a serious bummer for this summer-lovin’ girl.
The really fine thing about carrots, however, is that if you stagger the sowing over several weeks, you’ll have fresh carrots every week well into Autumn, for side dishes like this and this and this one today.
Oh, have I mentioned that SoupAddict is obsessed with carrot salads? But please don’t run away screaming yet. If your idea of torture is a cellophane bag of baby carrots and no veggie dip, this is nothing like that. Raw carrots are an acquired taste, no doubt, but when you mix them with things like herbs and spices and seeds and vinaigrettes, their flavors come alive.
Here’s the first harvest. Frequent rain and otherwise diligent watering kept the ground friable, producing lovely, stick-straight carrots with no cracking. (Harvesting tip: water the carrot patch really, really well the day before you pull. The soil will be much more giving when damp, and you’ll be less likely to break off a carrot in the ground.)
Hello, double carrot! There’s always one in the bunch. Someday, I’m going to give in to the impulse to put pants on it.
This is a Purple Dragon. I adore the magenta skin, sweet orange flesh and yellow core — spectacular sliced into green salads.
This dish comes together quickly with a food processor and a grating disk. Grating by hand with a vegetable peeler? Ach, now that’s my idea of torture. (Oddly, though, I’m okay with peeling potatoes.)
For the dressing, don’t worry about a perfect emulsion — it’s absolutely fine if oil and lemon separate a bit. Don’t skimp on the seeds — you’ll want a nutty crunch with each and every bite.
Carrot & Seed Salad
Adapted ever so slightly from the lovely Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery
8 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated (peeling is optional if organic and scrubbed well)
1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil
one dash of salt
one dressing recipe (below)
1 cup sunflower seeds or pepitas (raw, roasted and/or salted – your choice)
1 small handful chopped chives
For the dressing:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
About 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
1. Place the carrots in a serving bowl. Add the oil and sprinkle with salt, mixing well to combine.
2. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then
whisk in the oil. Taste and adjusting the seasonings to suit.
3. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss well.
4. Sprinkle with the seeds and top with chives.
Notes: In the book, author Rose Carrarini says to try the sunflower seeds and and then the pumpkin seeds to determine which you prefer. I love both sunflower seeds and pepitas together, each bringing their own nuanced nuttiness to the table. This salad is also delicious topped with a little crumbled goat cheese just before serving.