Winter salads with oranges and carrots | Kitchen to Kitchen

Sidonie Maroon
Posted 1/13/21

I crave raw winter salads about now. They sound so good after all the hearty food and holiday sweets. 

One of my favorite combinations is carrots with citrus; crunchy sweet local winter …

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Winter salads with oranges and carrots | Kitchen to Kitchen

Oranges — with a bit of carrots tossed in — offer a wonderful contrast in your winter salads.
Oranges — with a bit of carrots tossed in — offer a wonderful contrast in your winter salads.
Photo courtesy of Sidonie Maroon
Posted

I crave raw winter salads about now. They sound so good after all the hearty food and holiday sweets. 

One of my favorite combinations is carrots with citrus; crunchy sweet local winter carrots paired with oranges is especially good. The other day, I wrote out all the flavor partners these two share, and it surprised me how much they have in common. They’re a delightful couple to bring in the new year.

How to build delicious winter root and citrus salads 

Understand what flavors, textures, and colors go together. You can’t go wrong with this formula.

1) Decide on the roots and citrus you’ll use.

2) Add a complimentary acid flavor. 

3) Choose spices.

4) Pick an herb and/or an allium.

5) Bring in a buttery crunch with seeds or nuts.

6) Punch it up with dried fruit sweetness or honey.

7) Provide some heat with pepper or chilies.

8) Bring in an optional oil or leave it out, and the salad will last longer in the fridge.

9) Add a top-notch finishing salt at the very end.

Don’t feel you always need all nine parts, go with your own sensibilities.     

BRIGHT CONTRASTS 

Raw carrots are juicy, crunchy and sweet. While oranges are tangy and complex. I’m including the whole orange family — Navel, Cara Navel, Mandarin, Tangerine, Blood Orange, Clementine, Satsuma and one of my favorites, the Seville orange for making marmalade. 

RAW CARROT AND ORANGE PARTNERS 

SPICES 

Anise seed, cinnamon, cumin, fennel seed, star anise, ginger, cardamon, black pepper, red chili flakes. 

HERBS 

Cilantro, parsley, thyme, rosemary.  

ALLIUMS 

Garlic, scallions, shallots, red onions. 

NUTS AND SEEDS 

Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds. 

ACIDS

Lemon, lime, kumquats, grapefruit, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, mustard. 

OILS 

Olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, toasted sesame oil. 

FRUITS 

Figs, dates, raisins, coconut, pomegranates, avocado.

VEGETABLES 

Celery, cabbage, beets, black olives, celeriac

FINISHING SALTS 

Maldon salt, Flëur de sel, Himalayan pink salt, and grinding salt. 

STARTER IDEAS TO GET YOUR IMAGINATIVE JUICES FLOWING

I make the dressings in a small food processor by adding the ingredients and blending until smooth. Using my ratios, you’ll have no problem coming up with your own variations. 

Carrot and Orange with Toasted Cumin: 3 cups shredded carrot + 1 Cara navel, diced + orange zest + 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seed. Dressing:  4 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 clove crushed garlic + ¼ teaspoon sea salt + ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. 

Carrot and Orange with Grapefruit and Toasted Almonds: 3 cups shredded carrot + 1 navel orange, diced + zest of orange + 1 ruby grapefruit, sectioned and diced + ½ cup toasted chopped almonds + 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Dressing: 4 tablespoons avocado oil + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 clove crushed garlic + ¼ teaspoon sea salt +  ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes.  

Carrot and Orange with Nicoise Olives: 1 tangerine, diced + 1 blood orange, diced + ⅓ cup pitted nicoise olives + ¼ cup slivers of red onion.
Dressing: 4 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard + 1 clove crushed garlic + ¼ teaspoon sea salt + ½ teaspoon fresh thyme + 2 chopped salted anchovies + 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Remember, the most important part of cooking is to enjoy the process.

Sunny Salad

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

4 cups grated carrots

2 sectioned Cara Navels, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 stalks celery, finely diced

½ cup toasted pecans, chopped 

½ cup sliced dates

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns 

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

(Maldon flaked salt at the table as needed)     

DRESSING

2/3 cup avocado oil

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic, minced 

1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely minced

¼ teaspoon powdered turmeric 

DIRECTIONS 

For the salad: Mix the grated carrots, celery, and dates together in a large low salad bowl. Grind the black pepper and fennel together and mix in. Lay the sectioned fruit on top in a sunburst design. 

Serve the dressing at the table alongside the salad. 

For the dressing: In a food processor, pulse the ginger and garlic together into a paste. Add and process the lemon juice, zest, mustard, turmeric and salt. While the machine is running, slowly add the oil until emulsified.

(Sidonie Maroon, abluedotkitchen.com, is culinary educator for The Food Co-op. Kitchen to Kitchen is sponsored by The Food Co-op.)

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