Friday, February 19, 2021

RECIPE: Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas, and Salted Pistachios

Believe it or not, I still have a few carrots left from last season's harvest - that's the beauty of Biodynamic Agriculture - and here's one of our favorite ways to serve them.

One of my favorite food bloggers is Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen.  Deb is funny, REAL, and she appreciates a well-seasoned recipe as much as I do.  I hack her recipes a lot!  Last week, she shared this recipe for carrot salad that sounded so yummy I couldn't wait to make it!  

The recipe comes together quickly - you can grate the carrots and mix the dressing while the chickpeas are roasting, and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  

It was so good my husband was mixing the leftover dressing and beans with the carrots that I slice as dippers!  As Deb says, "I don’t think I’ve ever had a bowl of grated carrots with so much complexity".

Original recipe: Carrot Salad With Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas, and Salted Pistachios

I copied her recipe below verbatim, and added my changes in red.

Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas, and Salted Pistachios

(Sorry for the crummy photo - I forgot to take one until I was almost finished eating!)
Serves 4

1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I used 1 t. Himalayan pink salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (We prefer a medium grate)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley (I didn't have so I used cilantro)
1/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 medium garlic clove, minced (I grated mine into the lemon juice)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss chickpeas with one tablespoon olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated. Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed. (I spread mine into one layer and then left them there for 20 minutes.  I stirred them, spread them out again, and left them for another 10 until they were really crisp!)  NOTE: the last time I made this it was raining, and the chickpeas refused to get crisp!  I had to leave them in for 40 minutes, turning them occasionally. We then had to re-crisp the leftovers!

Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots. (Yes!  Anything lemony is great with raw carrots!)

Assemble salad: Place grated carrots in large bowl and toss with parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas (you’ll have extra and if you’re like us, won’t regret it) and pistachios and dig in. (You can see the medium grate of our carrots below, before I mixed them with the cilantro.)


Do ahead: Salad keeps well in the fridge for two days, however, I’d add the chickpeas and pistachios right before serving, so they don’t get soft.

Any leftover chickpeas make nice 'croutons' for a green salad.


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