Carrots are the work of the devil’s boring brother-in-law who he hates getting stuck with at family parties. As I child I didn’t like them in round slices (ok, I still don’t) and would cunningly hide squelchy carrot and parsnip mash under my cutlery. Working in an old folks’ home as a student involved weekends of hacking them into matchsticks and boiling them for dentured mouths. The stupid small ones remind me of those dead-eyed women with the partitioned serving bowls “Cauli? Baby carrots? Mash?” at ‘80s weddings. The diagonally cut ones are just trying too hard and don’t get me started on when they’re cut into roses.
You can’t polish a carrot. In fact, I only bothered to learn how to spell it correctly ten minutes ago. However, there is an exception to every irrational rule and this Avoca carrot salad rocks. It’s fresh and crunchy and can be prepared in advance to whip out for a bbq as it goes perfectly with meat. You can keep the dressing and sesame seeds for weeks to add to grated carrot (or a million other things) whenever you like, or just adjust below quantity for a smaller amount. Don’t add the dressing until the last minute though or it’s a soggy mess, like a bride who’s been rained on and confronted with a selection of bland vegetables at her wedding.
- 4 coarsely grated carrots
- Small handful of sesame seeds
French Dressing – this makes 800ml, so you can use it in other recipes as well as this salad.
- 200 ml red/white wine vinegar
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 400 ml sunflower oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 1-2 tablespoons honey, to taste
Blend dressing ingredients in a processor and season. Roast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat until lightly coloured. Let them cool and then add them to the grated carrot. Toss with 3-4 tablespoons of the dressing. Check the seasoning and serve.