3.31.15 Spicy Pickled Carrot Salad
At any given time, our refrigerator usually houses a pretty decent supply of carrots. I’d like to say it’s because we’re super healthy people, and that when a snack craving strikes, we eat things like carrot sticks (and certainly not things like spicy pickle flavored potato chips). The truth is, we have so many carrots because for some strange reason, the dog thinks they’re treats. For real. He will do pretty much anything for a carrot.
From time to time, I get a little jealous of him and wish that I loved carrots as much as he does. I mean, don’t get me wrong, carrots are great. But I’ve never been so excited about them that I go into a wild frenzy at the mere mention of them. Well, until now maybe.
This salad was inspired by those lovely pickled carrots you typically get on a banh mi sandwich. They’re so good, I always find myself wishing for more. The obvious solution was to just make my own, which is really pretty easy. Not to mention, when you make your own, you can do things like add chiles for some extra kick. And while a big plate of pickled carrots is probably delicious, adding some cucumbers and peanuts for crunch, a super simple chile lime dressing, and a few fresh herbs makes it even better. Best carrots ever? I think yes.
Spicy Pickled Carrot Salad
- ½ lb carrots, scrubbed clean (about 4 medium carrots)
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp chile garlic paste
- 1 medium Persian (or other seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup (loose packed) cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
1. Use a mandoline or vegetable peeler to cut the carrots into thin ribbons. Slice jalapeno pepper into very thin slices, then combine with the carrots in a medium bowl. Add the salt and sugar, and toss to mix evenly. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Combine the water and rice vinegar, then pour over the carrot mixture in the bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
3. Drain liquid from carrots and place in a large bowl. Stir together the chile garlic paste and lime juice, add to the carrots, and toss to coat. Stir in the cucumbers, ⅔ of the cilantro leaves, ⅔ of the peanuts, and ⅔ of the scallions. Arrange salad on a plate and top with the remaining cilantro, peanuts, and scallions.