Sometimes, you have to test the theory that a great salad dressing can make anything -- car upholstery, old shoes, vegetables you don't love -- taste wonderful. It's not uncommon to find a bag of carrots languishing in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator, because, to be honest, I don't love carrots. I use them in soups as part of the mire poix of aromatic vegetables, but I seldom cook them on their own, or even add them to garden greens and tomatoes. This little salad provided the ultimate test of the roasted lemon dressing I first used on cucumbers. Could the dressing make me love carrots? Yes! Is it worth the little bit of effort to roast the lemon? Yes! I don't recommend trying this dressing on shoe leather, but it just might work on cauliflower. That's my next experiment. Make this carrot salad now, while there's still plenty of mint in the garden.
Sliced carrot and almond salad with roasted lemon, basil and mint dressing
From the pantry, you'll need: lemon, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar, fresh herbs, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, sliced almonds.
For the dressing:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp agave nectar, or to taste
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
1 tsp roughly chopped fresh mint
Pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
For the salad:
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the lemon into quarters, and place cut side up in the baking dish. Roast for 12-14 minutes, until the edges of the lemon wedges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
Using a mandoline, or a very sharp knife, carefully slice the carrots into 1/8-inch-thick slices, and place in a bowl.
In a small dry nonstick frying pan, toast the almonds until they are just turning brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Into a small food processor or blender, squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon quarters. Add the remaining ingredients for the dressing, adjusting with more agave, salt, and pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the carrots, and add the almonds. Stir to combine. Allow the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours, before serving. Garnish with additional sliced almonds, and a sprig of mint.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Rice with carrot, lemon, onion and mint, from Simply Recipes
Roasted carrot turmeric soup, from Love and Lemons
Harissa roasted carrots with yogurt, lemon and mint, from Flourishing Foodie
Easy and amazing recipe for barely-cooked carrots with tahini, lemon, garlic, and sumac dressing, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Carrot, dill and white bean salad, from 101 Cookbooks
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