Rainbow Carrot Salad with Mint
I am afraid we are bringing up a generation of kids that will grow up to believe that carrots look like this and come wrapped in individual plastic bags. Those of us who have tried them know that real carrots are covered in dirt, grow in unique shapes and come in a stunning array of colours, each with their own distinct taste and texture.
Am I the only one who gets excited about carrots? Really? I know I must have some company out there somewhere. While carrots are an everyday kind of vegetable there is nothing everyday about a garden or farm fresh carrot in terms of taste. Tender, earthy and oh so sweet. If I had to choose, the orange ones are still my favourite as they are the juiciest and sweetest but the other colours are very tasty and so pretty.
This salad recipe was inspired by a trip to the farmer’s market last weekend where I came across a beautiful selection of carrots in various shades of orange, yellow, red and magenta at one of my favourite vendors. The carrots in this salad are from Cropthorne Farm in Ladner. This small farm is run by sisters who grow an amazing variety of vegetables and keep happy hens for eggs. They keep a blog as well so you can find out about what is happening on the farm and information about the farmers and their growing practices.
While I most often snack on carrots raw, steam or roast them, I thought it would be nice to include a recipe that highlights the delicate sweet flavour and texture of the humble carrot. It is nice to have some heartier salad options at this time of year for days where lettuce isn’t looking so nice or it just feels too cold for a green salad.
This salad will keep for a day or two and is perfect to snack on, pack for lunches or serve along side hearty winter fare. If you aren’t going to eat it all right away I would recommend waiting to add the fresh herbs until you serve it to keep them fresh.
I came across a couple of other salad recipes featuring carrots that I am going to try this fall for sure. One is the Sunburst Carrot Salad on 101cookbooks and Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint on smittenkitchen. Feta would provide a nice salty balance to the sweetness of the carrots. Yum.
Rainbow Carrot Salad with Mint
The quality and freshness of the carrots will really make the difference in this salad. If you can, get fresh ones from the farm or farmer’s market or even better from your garden. If you can’t get a variety of colours the salad is delicious with all orange ones. Lemon juice and honey would be lovely as well instead of the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
6 medium carrots or 12 smaller ones
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dark maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the carrots- I find with the little fresh ones you don’t need to peel them. Grate the carrots on a box grater and place in a large bowl. Rip in the mint and parsley.
Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and water. Drizzle in the olive oil until well combined. If the dressing is a bit thick, add the tbsp of water to thin it out.
Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the veggies. You want the carrots to be lightly coated not soggy.
Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. I added a few raisins to mine if you are so inclined.