I know that January is basically over, but I still feel like I am rebounding from my steady holiday diet of chocolate, cookies, wine and beef wellington. This salad is exactly the kind of thing I like to eat a lot of when I have spent a couple weeks eating...richly. It helps me feel balanced to eat big bowlfuls of bright, tasty vegetables.
I saw this recipe over at smitten kitchen a little while ago and it looked great; I slotted it away in the back of my mind as a thing to try and then half forgot about it. Then I heard Molly Wizenberg talking about on Spilled Milk's carrot episode (Spilled Milk is a great podcast by the way, you should all go check it out!) and I remembered my intention to eat this salad. After it came so highly recommended by two brilliant women, I really had no choice.
I made a few changes; I upped the herbs a lot. The original calls for a couple tablespoons each mint and parsley, I used at least a cup of each. I like how fresh and bright it is with large amounts of herbs, and it feels luxurious to treat them as another vegetable rather than a garnish.
Note: Harissa is a chili and spice paste from North Africa. You can find it lots of supermarkets or specialty food stores. It's worth hunting around for, but if you're having difficulty finding it, this dressing will still be great with some chili flakes or powder for some heat.
herbed harissa & feta carrot salad:
adapted from the genius smitten kitchen (where it was adapted from a reader, who adapted it from her mother who may have adapted it from cuisine magazine)
- around 10 large carrots, washed and peeled if you feel like it (I didn't)
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup mint, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a fine rasp
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin (I like a lot of cumin, but you can dial it back if you prefer)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp harissa (I have a really mild harissa and I actually used more than this. Add it a bit at a time until you have the heat you would like)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1/21 cup feta, crumbled
Grate the carrots on the large holes of a box grater or on a food processor grater blade if you have one. Toss carrots, mint and parsley together in a bowl.
Combine all other ingredients together in a small jar and shake to combine. Drizzle over carrots and toss to combine. Let the salad sit and absorb the dressing for at least a half hour. Sprinkle feta over salad and eat it up.
Photo credits: Tyrel Hiebert