Grated Carrot Salad with Coriander & Pistachios

        From the blog For Love of the Table

2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice...or more, to taste

1 small clove garlic, grated with a microplaner or smashed to a purée with a pinch of salt

1 lb. carrots, trimmed and peeled

1/2 t. kosher salt, plus more to taste as needed

1 t. coriander seeds, toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle

pinch cayenne, or to taste

1/4 c. pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

3 to 4 T. cilantro chiffonade

about 3 T. olive oil


Place the lemon juice in a small bowl and add the garlic.  Stir to distribute the garlic and set aside.  (This is an important step, whether you are using garlic...or making another carrot salad with minced shallot.  Allowing the smashed/minced garlic—or shallot—to macerate for a bit in the acid will soften its harshness considerably.)


Coarsely grate the carrots using the large holes of a box grater or the grating disc of your food processer (see note). Put the carrots in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss. Ad the coriander and cayenne and toss.  Pour the lemon-garlic mixture over all.  Toss well and let soften a bit (20 to 30 minutes).


Add enough olive oil to coat and fold in the pistachios and cilantro.  Taste and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne.  If the carrots are not as sweet as you would like, add a pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey.  Cover and set aside at cool room temperature for up to several hours, or refrigerate and then return to room temperature to serve.  The salad keeps, well covered and in the refrigerator for several days. 


(Recipe adapted from Buvette, by Jody Williams)


Note:  I recently read an article in the premier issue of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street that explained how grating actually enhances the sweetness of the carrots.  Since grating ruptures more of the carrot's cells, more natural sugars are released into the salad.  You will find French Carrot Salads that feature julienned carrots...and these are delicious too...but if you want to enhance the sweetness of the carrot, grating is the way to go.  Just make sure you grate them coarsely or you will have soggy carrot pulp instead of nice strands of crisp carrot.