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Carrot and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus

(recipe, Nancy Singleton Hachisu)


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Introduction

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.

Ingredients

  1. 3 cups julienned carrots
  2. 2 Tbsp. julienned negi or scallions (white and light green parts)
  3. ΒΌ tsp. fine sea salt
  4. 2 Tbsp. mild citrus juice (yuzu, Seville orange, Meyer lemon)
  5. 2 Tbsp. rapeseed (canola) oil
  6. Handful of mitsuba leaves (you can substitute lovage, cilantro, or chervil)

Steps

  1. Place the carrots and negi in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Gently toss.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Note

Variations: Substitute julienned daikon or turnip with a small handful of chiffonaded bitter green tops instead of the green onion and the mitsuba.