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Carrot and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus
(recipe, Nancy Singleton Hachisu)
The Japanese love carrots, but for the most part prefer them cooked. I am a salad maniac and think carrots go superbly with Japanese-style dressings. The citrus balances well with the sweet carrots, while the addition of a little heat from the negi (Japanese "leeks") and the spicy-fresh taste from the mitsuba (an aromatic, slightly astringent herb) make an irresistible combination. This is an eye-catching salad that has a wonderful symmetry of flavors.
- 3 cups julienned carrots
- 2 Tbsp. julienned negi or scallions (white and light green parts)
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. mild citrus juice (yuzu, Seville orange, Meyer lemon)
- 2 Tbsp. rapeseed (canola) oil
- Handful of mitsuba leaves (you can substitute lovage, cilantro, or chervil)
- Place the carrots and negi in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Gently toss.
- Measure the citrus juice into a small bowl and whisk in the oil. Pour over the carrots and onion and mix to distribute the vinaigrette. Add the mitsuba leaves and toss once.
- Serve on gorgeous small plates that show off the bright colors of the salad. Be sure to serve from the bottom, since the dressing quickly drips down, and prop up a few mitsuba leaves on the individual plates to add a bit of pop.
Variations: Substitute julienned daikon or turnip with a small handful of chiffonaded bitter green tops instead of the green onion and the mitsuba.