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Nik's Carrot Salad

Serves 2
Takes 15 minutes

For many years, Nik hated carrot salad, that nexus of grated carrot, peanuts, raisins and orangey vinaigrette that seems to have jumped straight out of the 70s; it always struck him as a sweet, unfocussed, soggy write-off. Then, for reasons he’s still unclear about, he ordered the carrot salad as a starter one night in Zedel. And he loved it. The chefs at Zedel had made a couple of very important changes; no raisins and no peanuts for a start, and, most importantly, the carrots were shredded instead of grated. We reckon Zedel do it with a spiraliser, which means you get long skinny threads of carrot with a 1mm square section rather than doing it with a grater where you get short flat wide bits. Shredding ensures a much better texture, a lovely firm crunchy salad that doesn’t have too much surface area, so it doesn’t get too soggy with the dressing. And speaking of the dressing, the changes here are just as important; no orange juice in the vinaigrette, instead finely chopped chives for that lovely aliumy (is that a word? It is now!) savouryness (ditto), plus some finely grated horseradish for a sweet, spicy uplift.

And this is it, a firm, crunchy, intensely carroty salad, in a dressing which has level upon level of sophisticated savour. Nik has brought it into work with him for lunch where, the day after being made, it still holds its texture and flavour.

If you haven’t got a spiraliser, you can of course do it with a grater, but it will need to be eaten quickly before the carrot goes soggy…

2 big fat carrots, the best you can get your hands on, peeled and top and tailed.
2 tbspns mild olive oil
1 dstspn white balsamic vinegar
2 tsps finely chopped chives
½ tsp very finely grated fresh horseradish
salt and pepper

  • Put the oil, vinegar, chives and horseradish in a small jar, put the lid on and give it a damn good shake 
  • Spiralise the carrot on your spiraliser's finest setting. The one we have is about 1 – 2mm. Put the shredded carrot in a bowl, and add the dressing, tossing well. Put into an appropriately sized lunchbox, put the lid on tight, and refrigerate 
  • To be honest, we don’t know how long it’ll last in the fridge, it’s never been given the chance…