This week, Louisa Shafia is serving as a Guest Editor at Food52. She chose a Wildcard winner, answered your questions on the Hotline, and is continuing to share recipes from her new book, The New Persian Kitchen -- because your kitchen deserves a taste of the exotic every once in a while.
This salad takes inspiration from China, Iran’s Silk Road trading partner, and the source of many Persian ingredients, including sesame seeds. You’ll find similar salads in places like Uzbekistan, where the cuisines of Iran and China intermingle in delicious ways. I love using this salad as a topping for sandwiches like the Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers, or for falafel, banh mi, or even a simple tuna sandwich. It makes a fresh, crunchy counterpoint to richer foods, so you could serve this with the Lamb Kebabs and the Sweet Rice for a beautifully balanced meal.
If you don’t want to bother peeling your carrots into long, graceful ribbons, use a mandoline to cut them into matchsticks or simply grate them in a food processor. Marinate the salad for a few hours before serving to let the nutty toasted sesame oil infuse the carrots.
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds carrots, cut lengthwise into thin ribbons
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
Photo by Sara Remington