Carrots and Zucchini Salad

We all need our veggies, especially someone like me that unfortunately does not eat enough of them.

Do have a favorite veggie? I think I pretty much like all with the exception of brussel sprouts - we just cannot seem to get onboard with each other.

If there is a favorite I will have to say carrots. I like them raw, cooked, in salads, cakes, dipped in anything. The same goes for zucchini, which I love grilled with a splash of olive oil and some chopped herbs.

A couple of weeks back I gave Heidi Swanson Sunburst Carrot Salad recipe a try out in my kitchen.  It was part of our Gutsy Cook menu options and I had all the ingredients at hand. 

On a side note: I keep being amazed of the stuff I’m finding in my food pantry.  Last week it was tapioca flour, this week I had the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – I’m convinced that there is a magical food genie in there that keeps putting the necessary ingredients at my fingertips.

I kept pretty close to her inspiration recipe.  The only thing I did differently was to add some shaved zucchini, which I had at hand and it was at the point of “use it or lose it”.  I also added some orange juice along with the lemon. And I did not have green chili, but I did have Thai chili paste, so I used that to give it a bit of spicy kick.

Everything was tasty and refreshing – we actually used it as the side dish to the Kingklip dish. The first time I did this salad I cooked the zucchini along with the carrot and it was a mistake. They fell apart on me and it did weigh down a bit of the crunchiness.  The second time, I prepped the zucchini but kept them raw and then tossed them at the end and it totally worked.

Inspired by 101 Cookbooks and Salad Pride

  • 2 bunches of carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili paste (or fresh if you have it, minced)
  • 1 lemon, zest and 1 tablespoon of juice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted 

Start by washing the carrots and zucchini. Use a vegetable peeler (I used my brand new OXO mandolin slicer that I got in the Food Blog Forum conference goody bag) to shave each carrot and zucchini into wide ribbons. If your vegetables have beaten up, dirty skins, peel them first before making ribbons.  Put the zucchini aside to be added to the salad later.

Heat a big splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the carrot ribbons. Sauté for just 20 seconds or so - barely long enough to take the raw edge and a bit of crunch off the carrots. Quickly stir in the chili and lemon zest. Remove from heat and stir in the raw zucchini, cilantro, and the orange and lemon juice, and then most of the pepitas. Taste. Add more salt and/or juice if needed. Garnish with remaining pepitas.

Now enjoy - you got your recommended veggie servings for the day!