Flicking through a classic Jamie Oliver cookbook (Jamie’s Dinners – featuring a fresh-faced Jamie Oliver on the cover) a few months ago, I stumbled upon this gem. I know it’s a little sad to get excited about carrots, but this salad is the best! It is a crunchy, healthy, delicious crowd pleaser. And it is simple to make. With just a few ingredients you turn a humble carrot into something amazing. Eat this at your next braai or try it with some chicken tonight.
This version spiralises the carrots, making long thin noodles. But if you don’t have a spiraliser, use a mandolin or grater. Just make the carrots crunchy.
For the Salad – Serves 4-6 (as a side dish)
- 6 large carrots – washed & peeled
- A large handful fresh coriander leaves (picked)
- 4 teaspoons sesame seeds (toasted) or poppy seeds
For the Dressing
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 lemons
- Extra virgin oil
- 2 heaped teaspoons sesame seeds (toasted) – (for a short cut use 1-2 teaspoons of tahini (crushed smooth sesame seeds))
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepare your carrots with the spiraliser or grater. Put them into a salad bowl with the coriander leaves and sesame seeds or poppy seeds. (To toast your sesame seeds, just put them into a dry frying pan and heat up for a few minutes on a low/ medium heat – until they turn a little brown – but not burnt).
To make the dressing finely grate the zest of the orange into a bowl (use the finest grater you can and just remove the colour bit. If you grate into the pith it will make the dressing bitter). Add the OJ, the juice of 1 ½ lemons and about 4 times the volume of extra virgin olive oil. Pound the sesame seeds to a pulp in a pestle and mortar, then add to the dressing. If using tahini, add this to the dressing instead of the sesame seed pulp. (Add 1 teaspoon of tahini at first, then add more if necessary.) Mix well. Then season with salt and pepper and maybe a touch more lemon juice to make it more zingy.
You can prepare the carrots in advance, but make the dressing and dress the salad just before you want to serve. It will lose its zing if it stands around for too long.