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zingy carrots

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zingy carrots

I used to totally hate carrots when I was a kid. I didn’t really like any vegetables and the fact that they were prepared for me in a rather unimaginative way didn’t help. Grated carrots with only a squeeze of lemon for seasoning. Cooked cabbage. Sauerkraut. Plain cauliflower. Boiled onions. Raw turnips. Oh, all right – I made the last two up but the truth is my wonderful Mother was by no means a wonderful cook.

I’m still a bit suspicious of carrots. In my view they are the kind of veg that has to have something decisive done to it: season it to death, cook it in an ingenious way; put striking spice on them. Which is not a wrong approach: ever tried carrots cooked with cinnamon? With caraway and honey? Fondant carrots? Hey, we’ve all come a long way from veg boiled to mush in unsalted water.

zingy carrot salad

Raw carrots have to be exceptionally good for me to crunch one for a snack. It’s actually the flagship vegetable for organic growing: there’s a world of difference in taste between one of those and a victim of pesticides and fertilisers.

This is a serious improvement on my childhood’s grated carrot salad. I call it zingy carrots but might as well call it singing carrots as the taste explodes in a symphony in this dish. Experiment away with the amounts of seasoning but don’t skip the tarragon on any account. Or ginger. Or caraway. Just do it as I laid it out allright???

zingy carrots

Servings: 2-4Time: 15 minutes plus souring the cream for an hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 100ml (about 1/3 cup) sour cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lime juice, more to taste
  • 300g carrots (4 medium), peeled
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • salt and black pepper
  • a large pinch of sugar
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds, ground in pestle and mortar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

carrots


METHOD

1. Stir the salt and 1 tsp lime juice into the sour cream; about an hour ahead if possible, leaving it to stand at room temperature.

grated carrot salad

2. Julianne the carrots or grate them coarsely. Deseed the jalapeno and slice it very thinly; add most of it to the carrots. Season generously with salt and black pepper; add the other spices and the tarragon. Stir in the sour cream and toss well to mix.

3. Taste for seasoning; add the remaining chili if you wish and serve.

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