Raw Beet & Carrot Salad

2015-05-20 19.16.51Oh this salad! This salad is one of the most beautiful salads that can ever exist! It is wonderful in the winter. It is incredibly delicious right. now. I do not peel any of the veggies, in this, and I shred them in my food processor.

The long of the short: it’s shredded raw beet and carrot in a vinaigrette. I suggest marinading these separately, and then putting them together to serve (because the carrot will all become beet colored). The combo color isn’t a bad one, but it is just far more striking if you can clearly delineate which is which.

Also, when grapefruit is in season, I really recommend a grapefruit dressing for this. Today, I used a simple apple cider/balsamic/lemon dressing, which you’ll find below.

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad

Serves: 4-6
Prep-time: 15 minutes + marinading time

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 t dried herbs of choice (I used a combo of rosemary, fennel, basil, and oregeno)
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • pinch of sugar or dash of agave or maple syrup

Salad Ingredients:

  • 6-8 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 large beets, shredded

Additional Suggestions for Garnish:

  • pepitas
  • roasted pine nuts
  • dollop of hummus

Directions:

  1. Optional step: Grind the dried herbs, pepper, and salt in a mortal and pestle, until herbs are a semi-powder.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients, and set aside.
  3. 2015-05-20 19.17.39Keep carrots and beets in separate glass bowls (beware of plastic for marinading, always-as the acid may leech some of the plastic-but also because of staining), and pour 1/2 of the dressing on top of each.
  4. If serving within a few hours: toss each and let sit for 1o-15 minutes (minimum). Try to toss every 15 minutes or so, until serving.
  5. If serving later or the next day (this keeps, nicely), toss every now and again (try to toss at least 2 times), and store, covered, in the fridge.
  6. Serving: put in a serving bowl as I show, above (carrot on one side, beet on the other).

Carrot Lentil Salad

Carrots and LentilsWell, I said that I was going to do a series on salads, and I completely dropped the ball on that. So, now, post-graduation festivities, and as a means of procrastinating on efforts for my upcoming move… salads it is!

I’ll begin with the one I actually made today! I originally posted this in August, of last year. It is one of my favorite go-to recipes, especially when I buy a gang of carrots for something else. This time, I enlisted my step-brother to over-buy carrots for the cold sesame noodles that I made for my graduation get together. Oops, but one that converts into one of the most satisfying salads that I make, regularly.

You can make this way ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, undressed. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to a single portion, which made this super sweet but still delicious! I also recommend squeezing about 1/2 a lemon or so on it (you may want to serve it with lemon wedges, so folks can decide for themselves). The very earthy worlds of carrot and lentils feel lifted, just a tad, with the acid. During winter, I suggest leaving the acid off, for something far more comforting.

As I said in my original post: All of the flavor comes from the lentils, and the salad is dressed simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Do not dress until you are ready to serve and eat, as the salad will simply absorb the oil and become really dry (I do add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl I carry to work for lunch–but it is certainly better when it is freshly dressed).

Ingredients:

  • 1 c dry whole red lentils
  • 1/2 c red wine
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 t whole fennel seed
  • 1/2 t whole coriander
  • 1/2 t whole cumin
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1 unsalted veggie bullion
  • 3-4 large carrots, grated
  • salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste
  • additional dressing, if desired: 1-1/2 t balsamic vinegar or the juice of one lemon

Directions:

  1. In a mortar, add the cumin and coriander, and crack with a pestle (not a fine grind, but until coriander is in 1/2 pieces or so)
  2. Add to a saucepan: the lentils, wine, water, bay, fennel, coriander, cumin, pepper, and bullion.
  3. Cover and bring the saucepan to a soft boil.  Once boiling, uncover the pan and turn the heat down to medium, and cook lentils until tender but not falling apart (20-30 minutes).
  4. Drain the lentils (if needed), and pull the bay leaf.  Cool lentils to at least room temperature.
  5. Combine the carrots and lentils.  Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.  Serve.

Carrot Lentil Soup

As the first in my Soups, Soups, Soups! installment, this is a slightly sweet version of a lentil soup. I used a combination of split yellow peas and green lentils, but you can choose any number of lentil styles for this! This is a hearty,

Soup Hint: Use lots of dried herbs as early as when you are cooking your lentils. Dried herbs can stand lots of cooking. If you want to include fresh herbs, and I recommend fresh parsley for this, add them to the very end of the soup making or upon re-heating the soup, so that they stay bright.

2015-02-14 15.51.03Carrot Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, medium dice
  • 1 small yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1 t fresh ground pepper
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 6 c water
  • 2 veggie bullion cubes (I use no salt. If you have salted bullion or veggie base, adjust your salt content)
  • 1 c green lentils
  • 1 c yellow split peas
  • 2 t dried herbs:
    • 1/2 t dried French thyme
    • 1/2 t dried rubbed sage
    • 1/2 t dried cracked rosemary
    • 1/4 t dried basil
    • 1/4 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t chili flakes (more or less to your taste)
  • 2 large bay leaf
  • 3 medium carrot blended with 1 c water
  • 3 small potato (peeled russet or new potato with skins), medium dice
  • 1 c frozen or fresh green peas
  • olive oil and cracked pepper for garnish

2015-02-14 14.43.30Directions:

  1. Add oil to soup pot (I use my cast iron dutch oven) and bring to medium-high heat. Add onion, black pepper, and salt, and cook onion until translucent and at the early stages of caramelization (you can also add your chili flakes, here).
  2. Add water and bullion, turning up the heat and bringing to a boil.
  3. Add lentils, dried herbs, chili, and bay leaf and bring back up to a boil.
  4. Add the pureed carrot.
  5. After the pot returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and cover.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes or until the yellow split-peas just begin to break down (or until lentils are just tender).
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Add potato and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add peas and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until potato is fully cooked.
  10. Spoon into bowls and garnish with a little olive oil and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Carrot Lentil Salad

Carrots and LentilsI’ve been meaning to share this recipe all summer long.  I have kept a large bowl of the base mixture (the carrots and lentils) in my fridge on and off for the last few months, making it easy for me grab it as a quick and simple meal when I’m not feeling like cooking.  It is good as an entree or a side dish.

Now it seems that it will be my go-to for late summer. It packs well and is great cold from the fridge or at room temperature.  It has a subtle sweetness that contrasts with a generous combination of floral and warm spices.

All of the flavor comes from the lentils, and the salad is dressed simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Do not dress until you are ready to serve and eat, as the salad will simply absorb the oil and become really dry (I do add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl I carry to work for lunch–but it is certainly better when it is freshly dressed).

Ingredients:

  • 1 c dry whole red lentils
  • 1/2 c red wine
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 t whole fennel seed
  • 1/2 t whole coriander
  • 1/2 t whole cumin
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1 unsalted veggie bullion
  • 3-4 large carrots, grated
  • salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste

Directions:

  1. In a mortar, add the cumin and coriander, and crack with a pestel (not a fine grind, but until coriander is in 1/2 pieces)
  2. Add to a saucepan: the lentils, wine, water, bay, fennel, coriander, cumin, pepper, and bullion.
  3. Cover and bring the saucepan to a soft boil.  Once boiling, uncover the pan and turn the heat down to medium, and cook lentils until tender but not falling apart (20-30 minutes).
  4. Drain the lentils (if needed), and pull the bay leaf.  Cool lentils to at least room temperature.
  5. Combine the carrots and lentils.  Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.  Serve.

World Carrot Museum

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hi Folks!  I’ve been off in dissertation land.  It is a dismal and terrifying place, in case you wondered! (Have I mentioned that I’m prone to a tiny bit of hyperbole?)  Anyway, I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting this space.  In my recent non-productive procrastination via google, I found the  World Carrot Museum in the UK!  The what?  Yes… that is what I said.

Ok, really it’s a virtual museum, but I got completely excited about the possibility.  Truth be told, updating would do the page good, but it is packed with all kinds of great carrot information.  My particularly favorite section is “Carrots in Fine Art Works.”

My search was inspired by my own lentil carrot salad, which I will post sometime in the near future.  The salad has become a summer staple in my house.