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August 31, 2014

Sliced carrot and almond salad with roasted lemon, basil and mint dressing {vegan, gluten-free}

Sliced carrot and almond salad, with a minty lemon dressing.

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 salad with roasted lemon dressing.

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.

Serves 3-4.

Ingredients

For the dressing:
1 lemon
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

Directions

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.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More carrot recipes:
Caribbean orange-spiced carrots
Oven-roasted carrots
Moroccan carrot salad
Slow cooker curry carrot and lentil soup
Carrot cake cupcakes with lemon frosting

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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Sliced carrot and almond salad with roasted lemon dressing.

Comments

I'm intrigued by the roasted lemon dressing. And I do love carrots so I know I'd like this!

Lydia: What is the advantage of roasting the lemon if all one uses is the juice? Doesn't the added flavor developed by the roasting stay in the peel?

Kalyn, if you are a carrot lover, you'll definitely love this combination. I had to work at it a little bit.

Cousin Martin, the juice of the lemons turns sweeter with roasting. Try it and see!

Sounds very good! I would blanch the carrots and I think they would take the dressing better that way. More flavor, if possible! and a touch of chili-garlic sauce?

Susan, as much as I don't love raw carrots, I really don't love cooked carrots, so even blanching would be out for me. Chili-garlic sauce makes everything better, though I'm not sure how it would taste with the lemon and basil. If you try it, let me know!

Love the idea of the roasted lemons - I was thinking of making mashed carrots with the carrots that have been sitting in my drawer, but this sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Jeanette, if you like cooked carrots, try this dressing on steamed carrots. It will be great.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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