Grated carrot salad is a staple in classic French cuisine. Fresh carrots are grated, seasoned and dressed simply with olive oil, lemon and parsley. The dish is as ridiculously simple as it is refreshing, and gives you a great base for other flavors and add-ins.
My first time pulling out petals of a calendula flower took me back to the memory of grating carrots — their distinct smell and pigment that stained my hands for days. The inspiration for this dish came to me in our Chef’s Garden, smelling those calendula flowers in the midday sun. That slight warmth perked up the flower’s aromas and drew in bitter citrus and tarragon flavors from the rest of the garden from the air, onto my hands.
That discovery led to the following salad, which will come together rather quickly!
RECIPE FOR THE HOME COOK AS FOLLOWS
½ lb carrots
4 calendula flowers, petals gently pulled out and reserved
2 sprigs of tarragon
1 – 2 tbsp niner estate olive oil
½ lemon for juice
salt + black pepper
First, grate your carrots. If you’re using a box grater, be sure to use long strokes across the grater to get lengthy shreds. A mandoline, spiralizer or food processor will also work. Strip your tarragon leaves from the sprigs and roughly chop them. Combine carrots, calendula petals and tarragon and toss lightly with salt and pepper. Then, drizzle in oil and toss again (this will coat/protect the delicates a little longer). Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
A NOTE FROM THE CHEF
This is a great last-minute salad — eaten fresh and cold it has a bright, pleasing aroma. I’ve included a few weekly meal suggestions below but the range is vast and you can adapt it to whatever you have on hand (I’ve even found it as a healthy foil for corn chips…)
WEEKDAY MEAL IDEAS
Serve on Avocado Toast
Top with poached eggs
Top with roasted fish or chicken