Carrot, Feta, and Herb Salad

After spending Thanksgiving week unplugged and mostly in kitchens (mine, clients, my folks, and restaurants) roasting all sorts of food in the holiday spirit, it seemed like a good time to shut off the oven and eat lighter foods.

Truthfully, I’m finding it very hard to convince myself that raw carrots beat out stuffing (oh, the stuffing!). And in all fairness, I’m not comparing them because if I did, stuffing would always win. Instead, I’m remembering the amount of stuffing I ate and the need to keep a balance (you might remember my last balancing act). Woman cannot live on stuffing alone…right?

Aside from all the amazing food and gatherings the past week, I’ve also been royally distracted with a trip Ari and I are planning to New Zealand! There’s been so much research and excitement filled afternoons at coffee shops while we pour over books and websites trying to plot the most exciting route for our adventure.

Because of all these (awesome) distractions and regular scheduled work stuffs, I haven’t had so much time to dedicate to personal meal planning, so I’ve been throwing together quick dishes. It’s worked out very nicely! It’s also been a good break from the heavy, big meals that November-December undoubtedly throw our way.

Not only is this salad beautiful to look at with its vibrant colors, it’s hearty and full of flavor. Sometime it feels impossible to coax flavors out of raw fall/winter vegetables but it can be done! Also, the right dressing can work miracles.
This salad was inspired by what was in the fridge at the time. In my refrigerator you can almost always find scallions, herbs (parsley, cilantro, and mint), and lemons. I like going into my fridge and playing the “what should we eat today” game.
Tossed up together this salad had crunch, creaminess, and an earthiness from the abundance of herbs and onions thrown in the mix.  It made an excellent breakfast, which wasn’t its intended meal, but when you have a perfectly delicious salad hanging out ready to be eaten who cares what time it is?
Carrot, Feta, and Herb Salad
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots, sliced thin on the mandoline or with a peeler**
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced on a bias - dark and light green sections only
  • ¾ cup (lightly packed) parsley
  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) mint (I tossed the mint in with the parsley and it looked to be about one cup)
  • ¼ lb. feta cheese, crumbled (I used a less salty/more creamy French feta)
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Zest from half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to tase
Instructions
  1. Soak the sliced red onion in hot water for 5 minutes, drain, and let sit on paper towels to dry. This will remove some of the sharpness you get with raw onion. I recommend doing it with this salad because you'll also get the onion-y flavor from scallions.
  2. Chop up half the herbs and reserve the other half as whole pieces.
  3. Combine the lemon juice, zest, honey, and olive oil and whisk (or my preferred method: shake in a jar) to combine. Salt and pepper to tase.
  4. Toss together the carrots, onion, scallion, and herbs. Lightly salt the vegetables.
  5. Crumble the feta over the salad.
  6. Dress the salad. Marvel at the colors. Instagram it. Eat it.
Notes
**A peeler would make these very thin and part of what works so well in this salad is the meatier/thicker slices of carrot but either way would work!