9.13.13 Carrot and Chickpea Salad
As a lover of all things culinary, it shouldn’t surprise you that I do a lot of reading of random food related articles. I’ve learned some interesting things this way, such as how to build a stadium out of snacks, and that apparently deep fried clam chowder is a real thing (though I’m not sure that it should be). It was on one of these recent forays into the world of food craziness that I stumbled upon the World Carrot Museum.
Yes, you read that correctly. There is actually an online museum containing every piece of information you could possibly imagine about carrots. For example, the first cultivated carrots were purple - orange carrots didn’t come around until the 1600’s. And apparently carrots are used to make more distilled beverages than potatoes. Who knew?
So it seemed appropriate that around the same time my mind was being flooded with carrot knowledge, my CSA box arrived with a beautiful assortment of multicolored carrots. With carrots on the brain, I decided that a new carrot recipe was in order. And lo and behold, I came up with this lovely salad.
Another piece of carrot wisdom for you to keep in your back pocket is that carrots are part of a family of plants known as Umbelliferae, which also includes things like celery, fennel, dill, parsley, coriander, and many others. What’s great about these Umbellifers is that flavorwise, they all compliment each other very well. In the case of this salad, I added fennel, parsley, cilantro, and cumin seed - all from this same family of plants - to great culinary success. What this also means is that if you are out of, say, parsley, but you have some celery leaves, or chervil, or dill on hand, you really can’t go wrong subbing them in.
Carrot and Chickpea Salad
I love using multicolored carrots in this salad for a nice visual effect, but it will be just as tasty with just one color, don’t worry. Also, if you love cheese as much as we do, I definitely recommend a crumble of feta or ricotta salata on top of this salad, it’s pretty fantastic.
- 2 cups carrots, julienned*
- 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onion, green part only
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ Tbsp whole cumin seed
- salt and pepper to taste
- crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese for topping (optional)
1. Combine carrots through cumin seed in a large bowl, stir to combine.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste, top with crumbled cheese if desired, and serve immediately.
*Note: If you peel your carrots before chopping them, save the peels and tops in the fridge or freezer and use them to make stock. Or if you have a dog who loves carrots as much as mine does, use them as dog treats!