French Carrot Salad

CarrotSalad02bfLOSupposedly, this little bit of a nosh is served as a salad and made with shredded carrots. I have only ever had it as an accompaniment to the wonderful warm bread brought to the table while perusing the menu at Brasserie Jo – which, sadly, closes today to be – I think the term was ‘reconcepted’. Can’t really say much about that without coming off as an old scold lamenting the lack of spats in daily use or something.

ANYWAY – we were talking carrots.

The folks at Brasserie Jo served their little plate o’ orange goodness as small spears instead of shredded, and the flavor was so light and refreshing with a hit of lemon and Dijon. Learning that our last visit would, more than likely, REALLY be our LAST visit – I came home, fired up ‘da Google’ and went in search of a recipe. Success.

Well, success and an experiment. I did find a recipe – calling for, as I noted above, shredded carrots. I filed it away in my ‘recipes to try’ folder and went on my way. Then, thinking about the restaurant closing today (we will be downtown, but our plans involve a European food importer’s warehouse sale (more on THAT tomorrow) and, I think, a Thai Iced Coffee and bowl of something at Penny’s) – I had an idea:

•Fresh carrots, washed, peeled, cut in half, then the thick ends divided in two

•1 tsp salt
ª1/2 tsp paprika
•6 tbsp oil – I used 4 tbsp vegetable  and two tbsp olive oil because I planned on tossing this over the carrots and chilling overnight, and all olive oil tends to become a solid chunk in the fridge
•2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
•1 tbsp sugar
•7 drops of Tabasco
•Parsley – I used dried, but fresh would be lovely

Drop your prepared carrots into boiling salted water. Boil for five minutes, drain and immerse in ice water.

Make the dressing – you may have noticed that this is the traditional French salad dressing I made a while back – I thought it would be a nice touch on the carrots. Combine the salt, paprika, sugar, tabasco and lemon juice in a blender jar and blend. With the blender running, add the oil in a stream until combined (if you don’t have a blender, you can certainly just whisk everything together in a bowl).

Cut your cooled and drained carrots into spears – I cut the chunky halves in quarters and the thin bits in half – and toss with the dressing and parsley. Chill overnight. Amaze your friends and confound your enemies.

This is, I think, the more traditional vinaigrette recipe:
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp(pinch) ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil together until the dressing is completely blended. Stir the dressing into the carrots and sprinkle the with the salt, pepper, and parsley, if using. Toss the salad again to blend the seasonings and chill it for 30 minutes before serving. Hmmm. Again, I think I’d go for overnight, but you do as you think best.

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