One of my favorite, sadly no longer around, French restaurants in Chicago used to greet diners with, of course, some fantastic bread and incredible butter and… this carrot thing.
Turns out, it is a classic French salad and is considered de rigueur with lunch out. I’ve made a version of this as an appetizer with carrot sticks for years, but got to thinking about going back to tradition and using shredded carrots.
So, armed with a recipe from a reputable French cook book, I set about to make a nice carrot salad to go with dinner.
•8 carrots, peeled
•1 lemon, juiced
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•2 tbsp olive oil
•2 tbsp fresh parsley
Grate the carrots using the largest holes in a box grater – or – do what I did and buy a bag of shredded carrots.
Note: when buying pre-did veggies, I always wash them at home anyway before using them; I do not care how well the bag says they’ve been washed.
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the carrots and toss well, along with the seasoned salt and the pepper.
Cover and stash in the fridge for at least three hours – I did mine first thing in the morning and let ‘em sit until dinner time.
Five minutes or so before serving, add the olive oil and toss well; then, add the parsley and toss again. Why two separate tosses? I have no idea, it’s a French thing.
French carrot salad.
Needs a little sumpin’ sumpin’, I thought.
More Better Version:
•1/4 sweet onion
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 tsp paprika
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp Colman’s dry mustard
•1/2 tsp Pepper Orange Seasoning – or just add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp dried orange or lemon peel
•1/3 cup ketchup (I like my ‘sup!)
•1/4 cup cider vinegar
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1 (1lb) pkg shredded carrots
•Freshly chopped parsley
Wash the carrots well under cold water, then drain well.
To make the dressing, place the onion in the bottom of a blender and top with the sugar, seasonings, ketchup, and cider vinegar.
Note: this arrangement in the blender: onion first, then the dry seasonings, then the ketchup and the vinegar last (on top) helps to weigh down the sugar and seasonings and keep them in the mixture and not just spraying up against the sides of the blender jar, only to be scraped down and blended again.
Pulse the blender several times to chop the onion up finely and combine the other ingredients.
Remove the center cover from the blender lid and, with the blender running, slowly stream the canola oil into the mixture until the dressing has absorbed it all and thickened.
Toss the shredded carrots with the dressing (about half of the batch should do it) to coat well, then cover tightly and stash in the fridge for at least a few hours or, always more better, overnight.
Sure, you can eat the carrots right away, but allowing them to rest in the dressing will allow the flavors and textures to blend. Trust me, the wait time is worth it.
Just before you’re ready to serve, toss the carrots with some freshly chopped parsley.
Good; better, I think, than the classic recipe.
I served it on a bed of chopped Romaine and called it a salad well done.