Carrot and Feta Salad

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Though I strongly believe that self-improvement can and should be made year-round, the new year always makes me do some reflecting on the things I’d like to do better for the year ahead.

This year, I vowed to eat more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. I have always heard, the more colorful the produce, the more nutrition it provides. So, I sought out some recipes that not only sounded delicious, but were visually vibrant too.

I found this carrot salad on one of my favorite blogs, Sprouted Kitchen. She used purple carrots, but when I went to Trader Joe’s to get ingredients, I came upon the most beautiful rainbow carrots.

Not only was this salad a stunner to look at, but it’s chock full of nutrients, and might be one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever made. I know, I know…in a world full of cake and pizza, how could this healthy salad possibly stand out? Just trust me. The combination of carrots, with the feta, dates, pistachios, lentils and lime, is truly a winner.

Start by preparing your ingredients. First for the carrots, peel, and cut off the ends, and then grate. The author recommended using a grater blade on the food processor (and I should have listened). A box grater will work, but when you get to the end of the carrot – be careful. I may have nicked a couple of my knuckles…so it probably would’ve been worth it to dirty the food processor!

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Chop up the dates, red onion, and scallions.

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In a large bowl, mix together the carrots with the dates, red onion, and scallions.

Add in the lentils. I used pre-prepared lentils for this dish, as that is what was available, and they worked great. However, if you only have dried lentils on hand, cook 1/3 cup as you normally would, and let them cool before adding to the salad.

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Toast the pistachios in a pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat, give them a rough chop, and add to the bowl.

Finally, crumble the feta into the salad. The author recommended a specific brand of sheep’s milk feta (Pastures of Eden – found at Trader Joe’s), and I am so happy I spent the extra money for this. I really think the feta made the difference in this salad, so if you can, go for it.

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Now for the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil and lime zest and juice.

Mix in the remainder of the ingredients, and add salt and pepper as needed.

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Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and give a good mix. Give one last taste, and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.

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You can eat the salad right away, or let the flavors come together in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or overnight.

I ate the salad at all stages, and found it best when rested, and Andrew thought it tasted even better the next day. It will keep in the fridge, covered, for about 3 days (if it lasts that long!).

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Adapted from: Sprouted Kitchen

Prep: 25 minutes, Cook: 5 minutes, Total:30 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Salad:

  • 8 carrots, grated
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese

Lime Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Prepare the carrots by peeling and cutting off the end. Grate the carrots into a large bowl.

Chop up the dates, red onion, and scallions, and add to the carrots. Add in the lentils.

Toast the pistachios in a pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat, give them a rough chop, and add to the bowl.

Finally, crumble the feta into the salad.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil and lime zest and juice. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients, and add salt and pepper as needed.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and give a good mix. Give one last taste, and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.

You can eat the salad right away, or let the flavors come together in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or overnight. It will keep in the fridge, covered, for about 3 days.


5 thoughts on “Carrot and Feta Salad

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