Carrot Salad with Candied Hazelnuts and Honeyed Yogurt
I bought a large bag of grated carrots from the market the other day. It seemed easy and I immediately thought of making a carrot salad with them. Carrot salad is usually associated with Northern African cuisine and features middle east spices like cumin. There are a couple of good recipes for Moroccan carrot salad you can check out at Epicurious as well as in the fabulous cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, the famed London chef and restauranteur (originally from Israel). I have a standard sweet carrot salad that I make with orange juice and raisins but I wanted a little spice in this one and thought I’d make it with Indian spice instead of Middle East spice. I used Garam Masala for its slight sweetness and spice and thought it would combine nicely with orange juice because of the cinnamon and cloves in the Garam Masala, which it did. Garam masala is an Indian spice mixture usually including coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves among other spices. I don’t make my own but rather buy the ground mixture either from an Indian food store or from the fabulous Silk Road Spice Merchant in Inglewood (Calgary).
The resulting salad was nice and refreshing, with slight spice and sweetness at the same time. Serve this with Indian style foods or along other foods for something different. It would make a good salad for a buffet style dinner as it can sit for a while without compromising quality. If you grate the carrots yourself in a food processor or by hand then use them raw. If you buy pre-grated carrots you would need to blanch them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes to rehydrate and soften them as I find that the pre-grated carrots are too dry and stiff to use as they are. For the candied nuts, I often buy a variety of candied nuts and keep in the freezer to use when called for. They are also easy to make (see below) if that’s what you prefer. When I make them I prepare a larger batch and keep it in the freezer. I served this salad with a little yogurt on the side mixed with honey and a tablespoon of orange juice.
4 cups raw grated carrots (see note above and below)
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 cup raisins
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 green onion, chopped, both white and green parts
Salt and pepper as needed
1 cup candied hazelnuts ( purchased or homemade)
If you use pre-grated carrots then bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop the carrots in and let boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain the carrots removing as much water as you can and proceed with the recipe. If you grate the carrots yourself in a food processor or by hand then skip the boiling and proceed as directed. I find that pre-grated carrots are too dry and stiff for this recipe.
Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil, lower heat to a steady boil and let cook and reduce by 1/3.
Add garam masala and stir to mix.
Remove from heat, add the raisins and let sit for 15 minutes.
Place grated carrots in a large bowl.
Add the orange-raisin mixture and stir.
Add lemon juice, cilantro, mint and green onion and stir.
Add salt as needed.
Add chopped candied hazelnuts, reserving some for garnish.
Let the salad sit and macerate for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
Spoon into a salad dish, scatter a few hazelnuts and more cilantro and mint on top.
Serve at room temperature.
2 cups nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts etc.)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Place sugar and water in a saucepan with a glass lid. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a slow boil and boil, covered until you colour beginning to change. when colour is nice deep amber remove from heat and drop in the nuts. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat the nuts well and immediately pour the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper, spreading hem the best you can with the spoon. Do not attempt to touch them as they are VERY hot. When cooled, break them into individual nuts.
I also like to process them in the food processor and keep in the freezer to sprinkle on cereals, desserts etc. Delish.
1 cup greek or plain yogurt or soy yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon orange juice
Combine yogurt, honey and orange juice.
Serve alongside the salad.