Roast Carrot and Lentil Salad w/ Enoki and Kale Crisps and Tahini DressingRoasted carrots have long been one of Kid’s favourite things to eat, vegetable-wise that is. And I have to agree. The transformation in sweetness and flavour from raw carrot to roasted is an amazing one.
“Lately things, they don’t seem the same”
Carrots of all different colours have been appearing on our fruit shop shelves for sometime now. There’s nothing freaky going on, carrots have always been different colours, but like me, you quite possibly grew up believing that carrots are a fabulous shade of orange.
Purple carrots are probably the trendiest and most readily available. In my last restaurant gig I featured multicoloured carrots roasted exactly this way on our Autumn menu, in a salad matched with lamb.That amazing complexion really does help the plate ‘pop’, although I think the orange carrots are generally a little sweeter.
6 medium purple carrots
3 medium orange carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup French lentils – soaked for at least four hours.
1/2 bunch red kale
1 punnet enoki mushrooms
1 punnet mixed sprouts – mung bean, alfalfa, snow pea for example.
Heat your oven to 160*c. Wash the carrots. Don’t peel them. Cut them long-ways into four. Toss with olive oil, salt and maple. Arrange flat on a baking tray with parchment. Bake for around 30 minutes, turning at least once during the cooking. They should be a bit soft and a bit roasty.Refrigerate.
The LentilsRinse the soaked lentils under cool water. Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to the boil and simmer the lentils for around 8 minutes until just tender. A little star anise and cinnamon in the water will add complexity to the lentils. Drain and rinse the lentils under cold water. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt. Refrigerate.
The KaleRinse the kale under cold water and drain well. Tear the leaves from the stem. Toss with a little olive oil, sea salt and sumac (optional). Bake on 160*c for 20-25 minutes, turning them at least once during the process. Allow to cool on the kitchen bench. They will crisp up a little more after the oven.
The Enoki CrispsTrim the bottom cluster from the stems and discard. Separate all of the stems with your fingers. Heat a pan with 1cm of oil in it until almost smoking. Dust the enoki with plain flour and place into the hot oil. Turn them frequently until golden. Drain on paper towel and season. If you have a home deep fryer, use it. If you make them early and they lose their ‘crisp’, 2-3 minutes in a medium oven will bring them back.
1 tbsp. unhulled tahini
1 tbsp pickle brine (from a jar of dill pickles)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cold water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of Sea salt
Whisk everything together until well combined and refrigerate.
The SaladArrange all of the ingredients on a your favourite plate or platter. Get all Picasso if you like, it makes the process fun. Carrots first , then scatter lentils and sprouts. I leave the kale and enoki until last and then drizzle the dressing over the plate with a spoon in a fairly haphazard manner.
Avoid dressing the salad until just before serving.
Alternatively, stick it all in a bowl and toss. Up to you 🙂
What Kid Did
Kid washed the carrots and then played a lot of Minecraft until it was time to do the arranging and drizzling. Didn’t even pose for a photo.
It is school holidays after all.
Everything about this salad screams ‘Autumn’ to me. We’re leaving summer behind but it’s not quite cold enough for all the food to be hot. All those lovely earthy flavours match wonderfully. The pickle brine in the dressing is an interesting touch and helps to cut through the pasty tahini.
And those carrots!
Do you have a favourite way to cook/eat carrots?