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Carrot and Dried Cranberry Salad with a Sparkling Wine Dressing

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In the southern hemisphere we have a seasonal conundrum. We inherited most of our festive dishes from our cousins in the northern hemisphere, where everyone’s going in for rich, stodgy, warming fare like hotpots, pies and puddings around the end of the year. But on one of those glorious sunshiny days when all you can think of is something fresh and cooling (and often made of ice), warm and stodgy is usually the last thing we want. Well, look no further than the carrot salad; a fresh, naturally sweet and crunchy side that goes with just about anything – and even cools down whatever warm, traditional dish you insist on conjuring this time of year. In fact, I can’t think of a better summer snack either.

CARROT AND DRIED CRANBERRY SALAD (with a sparkling wine dressing)

PREP TIME: 1½ hours | SERVES: 6 as a side dish

My good friend – and favourite American in Paris – David Lebovitz was the first to bring to my attention that the grated carrot salad (carottes râpées) is actually very French. It’s certainly not the case in Nice, but it seems in Paris “you’ll find it on many café and bistro menus, charcuteries sell it by the kilo, and even mega-supermarkets add a few extra ingredients for ‘safekeeping’ and sell it packed up in rectangular plastic containers, ready to go. If you order salade de carottes râpée in a restaurant, you’ll often get a pile of carrots with a wedge of lemon on the side.” The carrot salad has remained one of my go-to summer sides since I was a child. Over time, however, it’s evolved in my kitchen to this sweetly crunchy, festive treat!

INGREDIENTS

for the salad

8 large carrots

15 g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

100 g dried cranberries

finely grated peel of 1 lemon

8 assorted radishes

for the dressing

160 ml olive oil

60 ml lemon juice

pinch of sugar

10 ml Dijon mustard

salt

40 ml sparkling wine

METHOD

for the salad

Peel the carrots and rinse them under cold water. Halve each carrot and cut it into thin slithers. Then, cut each slither into thin julienne strips and mix the carrots, parsley, cranberries and lemon rind in a mixing bowl.

Slice the radishes as thin as possible and place them in a bowl of water with ice.

for the dressing

Pour the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar and mustard in a bottle with a lid. Give it good shake until well mixed. Season with salt and add the sparkling wine. Give it another good shake. Pour the dressing over the carrots and mix well.

Spoon the salad into festive glasses and top with thin slices of radish.

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