Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spicy Sesame Carrot Salad

Carrots are fine. To me, that's all I can say. I don't dislike them. I don't love them. They are just fine. But, the Hubs likes carrots a lot. And I found out as I was making this carrot salad, my two dogs also really like carrots. Well, one of them likes them, the other I'm pretty sure thinks they are just orange sticks and is a little confused by them. But that's neither here nor there. The important part is that even though I'm not a big fan of carrots, this Spicy Sesame Carrot Salad was really good. I even went back for seconds. I found the recipe on YumSugar and pretty much followed it exactly, although I skipped the sesame seeds because I just find them to be a nuisance. And I put about a half teaspoon more of sesame oil because I love it so. This salad is just a little tart from the vinegar, and has a building heat. The carrots are still crunchy but a little softer than an untreated carrot, and it gets some nice flavor from the sesame oil and cilantro. It's a great summer side! 

1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (I added a little more)
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp if you don’t like spicy)
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled lengthwise into thin ribbons
1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

Start by peeling your carrots, then use the peeler to cut the clean carrots into ribbons. This was harder to do than I thought, and I actually had some of the centers of the carrots left where it was no longer viable for me to get ribbons of carrot without also getting ribbons of finger. So I gave the carrot centers to the dogs (and the Hubs). In a separate bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegars, honey, sesame oil, seeds, flakes and salt. Pour this dressing over the carrots, add the cilantro, and mix thoroughly. I would let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes for the flavors to get into the carrots a little bit. And make sure to mix it again as you serve it because the dressing tends to sink to the bottom of the bowl. I’m sure this is a side dish that everyone will enjoy! 

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