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.
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???