This is another salad born from our produce box from our friends at Local Roots NYC - these carrots were impossibly sweet and a lovely vibrant yellow.
It’s safe to say that this salad is very loosely based on a dish we had at Here’s Looking At You in L.A. last winter - theirs, a few pickled things swimming in a spicy feta dip, was addictively creamy, salty, and acidic, and I still think about it on the regular. It was the kind of salad that makes you want to move to California, where there’s produce that good in the middle of January.
When we’re working in the summers, we get a marinated feta from the local cheese store in Sag Harbor: it’s a creamy goat/sheep feta marinated in good oil, peppercorns, and thyme. If you can’t find something similar, marinate some yourself and let sit for a couple hours before using.
The seeds add texture and interest, and the herbs freshen everything up: use whatever you have in your garden or whatever you can find, but mint is especially good with the creamy, slightly sour feta.
Pickled Carrot Salad
Yield: 2-4 side salads
Peel the carrots, then shave thin ribbons down the length of the carrots - you can use your peeler or a mandolin. Try to get them long and thin enough to bend without breaking.
In a small pot combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and cover the carrots. Let sit in the fridge for ~15 mins. They should taste tangy and feel slightly softer. They can sit for up to an hour, even overnight.
Toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a small, dry skillet over low heat until they’re fragrant and golden brown. Add sesame seeds, then remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
To plate, shmear half of the marinated feta on the plate. Top with a tangle of carrot ribbons and full leaves of herbs. Add dollops of feta and the feta marinating liquid on top and finish with the toasted seeds, poppy seeds, & crunchy salt.
For the pickled carrots:
1 1/4 cups rice vinegar
1 cup water
3 tbl sugar
2 tbl salt
2 large carrots
1/4 cup marinated feta cheese
1/2 cup herbs - parsley, cilantro, mint
1/4 cup seeds - pumpkin seeds, sesame, poppy and sunflower
NOTE: Bon Appetit has a good recipe for homemade marinated feta if you’re looking for one.