What's your best time-saving tip in the kitchen?
Here's one of mine. Lately I've developed the habit of peeling a big batch - about a kilogram/two pounds or so - of carrots at once. Using my food processor, I grate half of them finely, to be used in soups and various raw salads, meat-based pasta sauces, as well as carrot cakes or muffins. The other half I cut into thick julienne or thin batons or shred coarsely, using either the food processor or my trusty Benriner mandoline. These will end up in stir-fries or in cooked salads. The prepared carrots are simply waiting in the fridge, packed air-tight, of course, to be used as needed. We definitely eat more carrots because of this simple pre-planning, and this can only be a good thing, no?
Here's a lovely warm carrot salad using the bigger carrot pieces.
The combination of carrots and salted peanuts is from Nigella Lawson's book Forever Summer. The trick of giving the carrots a quick microwave oven treatment is from Harumi Kurihara's lovely book Harumi's Japanese Cooking. Harumi, also known as the Martha Stewart or Delia Smith of Japan (depending whether you're in the US or UK), uses this microwaving method to soften the vegetables in her carrot and tuna salad recipe.
If you haven't got a microwave oven or prefer not using it, then simply stir-fry the carrots quickly in some of the groundnut or olive oil to warm and soften them slightly. Or make this a raw salad instead, though then I would grate the carrots finely and chop the peanuts first.
Crunchy carrots with peanuts
(Krõmpsuv porgandisalat soolapähklitega)
400-450 g carrots
100 g roasted and salted peanuts
2 Tbsp groundnut or olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
a few drops of sesame oil
fresh (Italian/flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped
Peel the carrots and cut into 5 mm julienne-sticks or shred coarsely (I used my food processor for that). Place into a microwave-safe glass bowl and blast them in the microwave for 90 seconds to slightly soften and warm them.
Take the bowl out of the oven, drizzle with olive oil and sesame oil as well as lemon juice, then sprinkle parsley on top. Toss the carrots gently to combine with these ingredients.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
More carrot salad recipes:
Warm Gingered Carrot Salad with Feta Cheese @ Nami-Nami
Moroccan Carrot Salad @ Nami-Nami
Carrots with African spices @ Nami-Nami
Carrots with African spices @ A Veggie Venture
Apricot-glazed carrots with ginger and curry @ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy shredded carrot salad @ Kalyn's Kitchen
Orange Blossom Carrot Salad @ Simply Recipes
Classic Carrot Salad @ Simply Recipes
Beautiful carrot and peanut salad @ Trembom
Caribbean carrot salad @ The Leftover Queen
Peanuts and carrots @ Nami-Nami (same recipe, posted back in 2006)
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