Today is a beautiful Autumn day in Brussels; these sorts of clear and sunny, crisp days almost make me favour Autumn over other seasons (until it begins to rain again, that is – and Brussels is notoriously rainy).
I love the cosiness of Autumn (scarves!), the windy, sunny days and the leaves turning red and yellow. I’ve been drinking a lot of hot cloudy apple juice with cinnamon and ginger (best when made in a pot with a stick of cinnamon and a slice of fresh ginger, but in a pinch can also be made directly in a glass or mug with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and ginger and microwaved for a few minutes 😉 ). We carved some pumpkins last weekend for Halloween – first time pumpkin-carving for me, so I’m afraid the result was less than spectacular. Although my boyfriend’s one reminds me of a Ninja Turtle, which I think is ace. I propped them up on pots on the terrace outside my window so it looks like they’re peeping in, which makes me smile every time I come home. Here’s the Ninja Turtle one; please don’t judge us for our less than stellar carving abilities.
Sunny, windy days aside, I’ve been feeling the lack of daylight already, and have found myself being drawn to and craving really vibrant, brightly coloured foods. Enter this super bright and sunny carrot salad.
I started making Orangette’s French-style carrot salad years ago, and have sort of adapted it into an even simpler version, mainly out of laziness, and also because for a while I didn’t own a mandolin. The original recipe calls for a tiny bit of garlic, but I now completely omit this step because I often cannot be bothered to clean the garlic press, and also have tended to add a bit too much garlic and found it a bit too conspicuous when I brought the salad to work as part of a packed lunch..
Although I am a garlic fiend, I think this salad tastes just as bright and delicious without garlic.
I very often make this carrot salad, as it takes next to no time to make, keeps well in a tupperware for a day or two, and feels like pure vitamin when you eat it. The lemon juice and olive oil make a sort of juice if the salad is left to sit in the fridge for a little bit before eating, and it is simply delicious.
I have tried both julienning the carrots and grating them on the large-hole side of a grater, and I’ve come to prefer the grated version, as I find this allows for more juice to accumulate, which is very yummy. Julienning, on the other hand, makes for a prettier, crisper salad.
Anyways, here goes:
- 1 kg carrots (just over 2 lb)
- 5-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3-5 tbsp lemon juice (more or less the juice of one lemon)
- about 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Peel and rinse your carrots, then grate (or julienne!) them all into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and lemon juice (you can play around with this a little, adapting it to your taste and making it more lemony/more olive oil-y according to your preferences – just taste it as you go along and be careful not to add too much lemon juice!), and the salt (add a bit at a time; I use fleur de sel, but the amount of salt needed may vary according to the type of salt you use/how salty you like things). Mix thoroughly with a fork.
Store in a tupperware container in the fridge for up to two days.
P.s.: You can also add a tsp of toasted cumin seeds to the salad for a more dressed-up version – it’s delicious, and goes really well with Lebanese food, for example, especially hummus and falafel with a yoghurt-tahini dressing! 🙂
P.p.s.: Found this awesome little candle holder at my local thrift store, who’d throw this away?? Managed to break the little dude in the bag on my way home, but glued him back together and it hardly shows, I think.