April can be hit or miss in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and luckily this year is more of a hit – we have had great luck with beautiful weather on the weekends this month and it’s making all of us excited for summertime. For my recipe this week, I wanted to pick something that tasted fresh and summery and I found what I was looking for in Organic Farm & Garden magazine (a Popular Gardening Series “magabook” by Hobby Farms.com). They offer several recipes in this issue (along with great organic gardening advice) and I thought their recipe for Carrot Ginger Salad would be a winner. (Note – we are sold out of the magazine at the Co-op, but you can get it online at either of the links above.)
We still have delicious and sweet local carrots from Hedlin Family Farm, a third generation organic farm in the waterfront town of La Conner (home to author Tom Robbins). The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is in full swing right now, and this would be a perfect weekend to spend some time outside tiptoeing through the tulips (they won’t actually let you do that, but you get the idea). But I digress…back to the carrots!
A lot of carrot salads are soaked in mayonnaise and have added sugar, and I didn’t want to go in that direction; this recipe is flavorful, fresh, and tastes like summer – the carrots give a nice sweet crunch and the dressing and fresh ginger add a dimension that you wouldn’t expect, as it leaves you with a subtle succession of flavors. I was hesitant to combine some of the ingredients that were listed – cumin and mint with ginger…are they crazy? Turns out they are brilliant, as the flavors work really well within the acidic dressing and compliment the carrots and ginger perfectly. This salad is also really simple to make and would be perfect to bring to a potluck or gathering, as it keeps at room temperature for several hours. Enjoy!
Carrot Ginger Salad
adapted from Organic Farm & Garden magazine, Volume 1, 2nd edition
- 5 large carrots (about 2.5-3#) , grated diagonally or cut julienne
- 1 T fresh grated ginger
- 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 t sea salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of ground cumin
- 1 heaping T fresh mint, chopped
- In a large bowl, combine carrots and grated ginger. Cover and refrigerate for about a half hour so the flavors can combine.
- In a jar with a lid, mix lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper and cumin, and the mint. Shake to combine.
- Add dressing to carrots and mix well. If time permits, allow the salad to sit on the counter for about half an hour before serving so the flavors can combine.
For best flavor, allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving. (Dressed) salad will keep for several days in the fridge. Cover tightly. You can also double the dressing recipe if you want a spicier version.
You may be hesitant to add the cumin and mint to this salad, but don’t skip (or substitute) those ingredients—they add complexity to the salad and are an important factor in the overall flavor.