Burnt Carrot Salad
Burnt Carrot Salad
Inspired by the grill master Francis Mallmann.
The first time I made this salad I cooked the carrots on the BBQ and served it with only a little cheese as a side dish to a BBQ rib eye steak. The salad completely outshone the meat. Here I’m burning the carrots in a hot pan. While the results are pretty decent in the kitchen, it’s not quite as mind blowing as the BBQ version. So if you can BBQ your carrots by all means do.
serves: 2-4 as a side
takes: 15 minutes
1 bunch baby carrots
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
100g (3oz) fresh goats cheese
1. Heat a large heavy frying pan on a very high heat for 3-4 minutes.
2. Meanwhile trim and discard carrot tops. Halve carrots lengthwise.
3. When the pan is super hot. Add a little oil and the carrots, shaking to make sure they are in a single layer.
4. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until carrots are a little burned and charred in places.
5. Meanwhile, combine balsamic, soy and 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
6. Turn the carrots and cook for another minute or until cooked to your liking.
7. Scatter leaves over a serving platter. Top with hot carrots, drizzle with dressing and finish with little chunks of the cheese.
The carrots will sit happily in the dressing for a few hours. But best to add the leaves at the last minute so it doesn’t wilt.
Will keep for a week or so in the fridge.
vegan – replace the cheese with a generous handful or two of roasted almonds or sunflower seeds.
dairy-free – see the vegan option. Or try a couple of chopped boiled eggs instead of the cheese.
side salad – either decrease the cheese or skip it all together and serve as a side salad to BBQ steak or chicken.
more substantial – I’m keen to try this as a carrot & lentil salad. Just toss a drained can of lentils in the dressing. Or use home cooked lentils that have been boiled in water until tender (15-20mins) and drained.
carnivore – replace the cheese with shredded cooked BBQ chicken.
soy-free – just skip the soy sauce in the dressing and be more generous with the salt & pepper.
budget – replace the goats cheese with ricotta or another less expensive cheese. And use 5-6 regular carrots quartered lengthwise instead of the baby carrots.
paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – replace cheese with roasted almonds.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
baby carrots – keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. Will last for weeks.
balsamic vinegar / soy sauce – keep them in the pantry.
salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they wont go slimey.
goats cheese – in the fridge in the packaging it was purchased in. Unopened will last for weeks.
Problem Solving Guide
too burnt – try to char the carrots well on the first side and leave the other sides more lightly cooked so it doesn’t overpower,
carrots crunchy – if the carrots are too large, they wont cook through in the time it takes to char them.
bland – season more generously with salt & pepper. And next time try a different carrot supplier.
too sweet – with the sweetness from the carrots and balsamic, it can head in the ‘too sweet’ direction. Just up the salt or toss a little more soy sauce in the dressing.
Lovely as a side salad with BBQ chicken or other meat. Also great with bangers and mash. Or increase the goats cheese and serve on its own as a light lunch.
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