Spiced Carrot Fennel Tangle

February 27, 2011
Author Notes

While sitting by the pool this afternoon, I dozed off while conjuring up carrot recipes. Sometime during that nap, the carrots met up with fennel, cumin, coriander, and mustard seed creating this delicious and refreshing salad. - melissav —melissav

Test Kitchen Notes

When I read this recipe, I immediately thought it had an Indian flavor profile. Not so fast, when I tasted it the brightness of the sherry vinegar, preserved lemon, cumin, and cilantro made me think more of the beaches of Mexico. The crunch is terrific, the sweetness of the carrots with the tartness of the dressing are great. Shaved into ribbons, it is really pretty, and couldn't be easier to make. I had preserved lemons, but if you didn't lemon zest would be fine substitution. I added freshly ground pepper to the seasonings. This is a pretty, bright, light, and I feel healthier just eating it! —Burnt Offerings

  • Serves 4 as a small side or 2 for a lunch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon preserved lemon (about 1/4-1/2 lemon), pulp discarded, minced
  • 3 carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 small handful fennel fronds
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the olive oil in small saute pan over medium low heat. Add the cumin, coriander, and mustard seed and heat until the seeds begin to pop. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the preserved lemon and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the carrot and fennel. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long tangles. Place into a bowl. Slice the fennel on a mandoline as thinly as possible. Add to the bowl.
  3. Finish the dressing by whisking the sherry vinegar into the pan with the oil and seeds and seasoning with salt.
  4. Toss the dressing with the carrots and fennel, staring with 3/4 of the dressing and adding the rest as necessary. How much you need will really depend on the size of your carrots and fennel. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary.
  5. You can either toss in the cilantro leaves and fennel fronds and serve or plate individually and top each portion with the cilantro leaves and fennel fronds.

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