Chickpea "tuna," I still love you, but when it comes to non-fish fish, nothing holds a candle to carrot "lox." There's no salmon here, but the carrots—fileted, seasoned with smoked salt and liquid smoke, then steam-roasted in the oven—are remarkably similar in texture, color, and flavor, too.
If you're looking to make it taste even more like the sea, follow the lead of Stonefruit Espresso (where we were first introduced to this dish) and add sesame oil and crushed nori before roasting. Experiment with adding miso paste or rice wine vinegar, too.
Serve carrot lox however you'd serve lox-lox—on a bagel with cream cheese, sliced red onion, and capers. (Psst—it's also good on matzo.)
Peel and very thinly slice—they should be thin but they shouldn't be paper-thin or translucent—the carrots longways on a mandolin. In a small bowl combine the smoked salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and liquid smoke.
Layer the carrot slices in a large bowl and add spice mixture to each layer until all of the carrot slices and spice mixture are used up. Set this aside for at least 30 minutes. The salt will soften the carrots and leach out much of their liquid.
Remove the carrots from the bowl and discard the liquid and spices that have gathered at the bottom. Add the carrots, eggs, and lemon zest back to the bowl and toss to coat each strand with egg.
Line a 1/4-sheet pan with parchment paper and brush it with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Starting with a long strand of carrot, lay it flat across the parchment paper. Continue to lay the carrots one after the other overlapping them almost completely. Pair shorter strands together to span the length of the dish.
Once all the carrots are laid out, brush the top with the egg that remains in the bottom of the bowl.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil to seal in the moisture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until carrots are just tender. Keep covered and allow it to cool completely.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.