Ribboned Carrot Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

DSC_0640RECIPE #489, DAY #673

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Carrot Noodles with Spicy Peanut Dressing,” from April’s Food Network Magazine*

TIMING: 20-30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: A little more difficult than easy

TOOLS: A good vegetable peeler and other normal things

COOK TYPE: None

HEALTH: A-plus. You can’t really go wrong with raw veggies, herbs, spices, and even a protein-dense, nut dressing. It makes a great accompaniment to many things, especially a lean protein and fruit.

DSC_0642EXPERIENCE: So this was supposed to be one of those low-carb, faux-noodle recipes, which I just bought a spiralizer for (see previous post). However, I tried to ribbon a carrot on the spiralizer, and—as I had been warned—it didn’t work. So, back to the ol’ veggie peeler. Which took forever.

And then? It did not work as an entrée, in many ways. First, there was nothing about this that said “pasta.” It said, “salad.” Then, it just wasn’t filling or well-rounded enough to warrant as more than a side dish. Perhaps if served with a few other veggie sides, it could make a well-rounded vegetarian meal. But alone? Nope.

So, we did really like it, just not as it was advertised. South Asian inspired carrot salad? Yes!

***

  1. In a colander, toss together 1 diced cucumber, 1 thin-sliced shallot, and plenty of salt. Let sit over a blate or in the sink, to drain.
  2. Fill a mixing bowl half-full with cold water and Peel 6 carrots and discard peels. Then continue to “peel” the carrots into the ice water, until all you have left is a woody stick. Discard those center pieces.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together 1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 ½ teaspoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, ½ teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 pressed clove garlic. Set aside.
  4. Drain the carrots and blot out as much moisture as possible, with a clean towel or paper towel. Towel out your mixing bowl and return the “peels.”
  5. Press the moisture out of your cukes and blot those dry as well. Add to the carrots.
  6. Toss the vegetables with the dressing. Sprinkle with 12 julienned mint leaves, 8 julienned basil leaves, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Serve right away.

***

Serve with tandoori chicken and naan, or a biriyani, or just some Asian-marinaded, grilled poultry and sesame noodles. Mint iced tea.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Dressed salads rarely last past the meal. Eat all of this, preferably, but if not, you can still munch on it the next day. If you did a good job at drying out the veggies, it will fare better.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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