Some of the best kitchen discoveries come out of experimenting. Being able to perfectly recreate a classic dish from a recipe certainly requires skill, but for one reason or another that skill did not find it’s way into my repertoire. Maybe it’s impatience, maybe it’s having the stubbornness of a deaf goat – either way, I tend to open a recipe and use it as a source of concept rather than a template. Needless to say, a lot of invention happens in my kitchen (often late at night, often when I find a bottle of wine that needs to be taken care of…) and sometimes some great meals are born out of that. Other times not so much. I will not go into details on the numerous “great ideas!” I’ve had for flavor combinations that would have more appropriately showed up on a prison lunch menu. I have my moments.
But one such experimental moment happened the other day with a few carrots (hm, something about that doesn’t sound right…) and a handful of herbs. This salad is SO simple and so good I actually surprised myself with how tasty it was for only taking a few minutes to throw together. The cider vinegar adds a great tang (not orange flavored, not powdered) that works very well with the sweetness of the carrots. I’m also in a big fresh thyme faze, so I LOVE the herbyness of it, plus the crunch of the sunflower seeds adds just the right textural diversity. I would pair this with any summer meal, but really wanted some juicy, grilled pork chops and grilled scallions to go along while I was standing in my kitchen scarfing it out of the bowl.
Shaved Carrot Salad with Fresh Herbs
6 large carrots (preferably organic since they tend to be much sweeter and more flavorful)
1/4 C Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C Fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Roasted and salted sunflower seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the carrots and chop off the stem ends. Laying one carrot at a time flat on the cutting board, use a peeler to shave off peels of the carrot, flipping it back and forth as needed to shave it down as close as you can until all that’s left is one thicker slice. Discard (eat) the thicker slice. Toss the carrot shavings with all the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. So easy…so tasty! 🙂