French Carrot Salad
You can find this salad all over France: in bistros, in homes, even in the packaged-foods section of the corner grocery store. It’s a classic lunchtime starter, as cheap and simple as they come. It’s all about the carrots, so be sure to choose good, sweet ones. Try them before you use them, and if they don’t taste good, well, this may not be the day for your carrot salad. You’d be smart to wait for better ones.
1 lb. carrots
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/8 tsp. pressed or crushed garlic
Rinse and dry the carrots, and trim away their ends. Cut them into short segments, and using a mandoline or food processor fitted with the julienne blade, cut them into matchsticks. If you don’t have a mandoline or food processor with the proper blades, you can also grate the carrots on the large-holed side of a box grater, but they won’t be quite as crisp or as pretty.
Put the julienned carrots in a medium bowl, and toss them well with the lemon juice. Add the oil, salt, and garlic, and toss again to mix well. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.
Yield: 2-4 servings
Note: This salad is a great traveler. It stays crunchy for a good 24 hours – meaning that you can make it the night before an early-morning flight – and it tastes just fine at room temperature.