~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Carrot and Peanut Salad... "Thai" style

Carrot and Peanut Salad... "Thai" style. When it comes to eating a meal, I most always have a side salad of some sorts. I don't know what it is, but I'll feel guilty if I skip the salad. I guess without it I tend to think the meal isn't healthy enough. But, there are those days when the meal may consist of only a soup... and that's when I usually skip the salad. But I'm o.k. with that, as long as the soup is brothy in nature... and has some vegetables. If the soup is more of a chowder, I'll end up serving a salad as well.

The salads I make are pretty simple and not complicated at all. It can be a salad of fresh leafy vegetables or a salad of tomatoes, cucumber and onion, or even a salad consisting of shredded cabbage/brussels sprouts... sometimes I'll make a "salsa" of various chopped vegetables. But the type of salad all all depends on the season, and what's available. Most of the time the salads are simply dressed with the usual olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Sometimes I'll exchange the vinegar for lemon or lime juice... or use a different type of vinegar. But in the end, a homemade dressing is always used as I find it much healthier... plus it comes together in no time. Haven't bought salad dressings in ages.

So because we normally have a salad with our meals, I often find myself looking in the fridge to gather whatever vegetables I have available and quickly put together a salad of sorts. At times I may find myself without the "proper" vegetables that are needed to make a normal salad. Even though I'll usually have the common mirepoix ingredients, I tend to overlook them. I suppose I associate them with soups, stews, or sauces...

But one day I found my fridge lacking the usual salad ingredients. However, there was a bag of carrots. That's when I remembered a salad I had seen in one of my cookbooks. A simple salad. A salad consisting of carrots and peanuts. No fancy ingredients... and no complicated dressing. I had wanted to make it some time ago but had ended up putting it off. At the time I had no peanuts on hand, and so the salad sort of got forgotten. Well, until recently... when I found myself with a lone bag of carrots and a small container of roasted peanuts. Immediately made the salad and loved it.

While the original salad is great as is, it can easily be adapted to include various other ingredients. I chose to add some cilantro to half of the salad, and after tasting it, felt it could easily be called a Thai salad. I guess it's the hint of the sesame oil with the peanuts and cilantro that remind me of certain Thai dishes... works really well in this particular salad.

And while the recipe calls for a certain amount of oil, vinegar and salt, it's best to adjust to taste. You might find yourself adding a bit more vinegar or a drop or two extra of sesame oil... but in the end the humble carrot gets transformed into a salad that's quite fitting for the dinner table. It might not look fancy, but it's worth making at least once. Refreshing. Simple. Hope you enjoy...

Tip: I am sure you can add all sorts of twists to this recipe... use lime juice instead of the vinegar, soy sauce instead of salt... and even though the peanuts make this salad, I am sure you can use toasted almonds, if you like. A sprinkling of sesame seeds wouldn't be bad either, as well as some chile flakes for spice.
Oh, and if you want to really vary it up... you can add some shredded cabbage and increase the vinegar and oils. It's delicious that way too.

You will need: adapted from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson, but can be found HERE as well.

4 medium carrots, peeled
1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil*
Few drops toasted sesame oil
cilantro leaves, to taste
salt, to taste
* I used extra light olive oil


1. Grate the carrots... you can grate the carrots very coarsely, or cut them julienne-style. You can even cut them into thick batons.
2. Add carrots to a bowl and then add the vinegar, oils, and peanuts. Adjust seasoning to taste... add more vinegar, sesame oil( being careful not to add too much)... and more salt if needed.
3. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and combine. Serve as a salad, snack or side dish to Thai-style/Indian dishes.


Anonymous said...

We make a similar salad down here in Oz called Gado Gado which is Indonesian. Just adding finely shredded chinese cabbage, cucumber and bean sprouts to the carrot. We use a hot peanut sauce on top which is just crunchy peanut paste heated with some water, honey, mirin or cider vinegar and a pinch of cayenne pepper. We agree though, raw veg and peanuts make a simple but great salad.will try your carrot version.

Speranta said...

Foarte bine arata !!!...Vreau sa incerc si eu... Cred ca este gustoasa si sanatoasa!

Multumesc pentru reteta.

Iti doresc o primavara binecuvantata!

Ellie said...

Anon, Thanks so much for sharing your version... sounds wonderful! At one point, I had thought of adding mirin, too:). The peanut dressing sounds great... love the combination of sweet, sour and spicy.
I simply love the idea of adding some cucumber and beans sprouts as well...it will bring that much more crispy freshness to the salad. Thanks for stopping by... Have a great day!

Speranta, Oh, imi place ca salata asta te-a inspirat si pe tine sa o faci:). Imi place salata de morcov cu zahar si lamie, dar si salata asta este tare buna!

Iti doresc si tie o zi plina de har!