To close out our week of carrots, let's talk about their crunch. Shredded carrots have a firm crunch and sturdy bite that rivals all other vegetables, and when they get thrown in a mix like this glorious salad, they are an essential supporting player. But it's not just about the carrots and their sweetness here, in this Thai-inspired hash — it's also about the cabbage, the grapefruit, the zucchini, and so much more.
Anna Jones is a cook and writer from London, who got her start in Jamie Oliver's restaurants and on his creative team. If you love vegetables, her new-to-the-U.S. book (it's been out in the U.K. for a while) is one to nab.
She explains that this salad gets its inspiration from pad Thai. "Unlike pad Thai, though, you'll notice there aren't any noodles here — instead, ribbons of zucchini and carrot take their place. I make this salad all year round: In autumn and winter I swap the basil for more cilantro and the zucchini for celeriac or parsnip.
This is a really refreshing, crunchy salad that has a lot going on: sweet zucchini and carrots, mild cabbage, earthy bell peppers, and some sweet-sour zing from grapefruit and lime. The cashew dressing was really easy to buzz together and reminded me of an Asian peanut sauce — it would also make a great dipping sauce.
- Christine, June 2015
Anna Jones' Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
For the salad:
1 medium zucchini
3 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 head white or napa cabbage
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium pink grapefruit
1 medium lime
1 small bunch of fresh basil
1 large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 good handfuls of bean sprouts
For the dressing:
2 medium medjool dates
1 handful (about 3 1/2 ounces) cashew nuts, soaked overnight in water if you have time
1 (3/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 clove garlic, peeled, green center removed, roughly chopped
1 medium red chile, seeded and finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
A handful of cashews, crushed
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini and carrots into ribbons and place them in a big bowl — it's okay to leave a little bit of the middle behind for the sake of your fingers. Shred the cabbage finely, slice the red pepper and scallions as finely as you can, and add to the bowl.
Now use a knife to peel the grapefruit and lime. Then with the knife, roughly cut out all the segments from both, leaving the pith and membrane behind. Put the segments into a bowl, then mash them up so you are left with little juicy jewels of lime and grapefruit. Add these to the big bowl, too.
Roughly chop the basil and cilantro, then add all the basil, half the cilantro, and all the beansprouts to the bowl. This will all keep well in the fridge until you are ready to eat.
When ready to serve, make your dressing by putting all the ingredients into a blender with 2/3 cup of water and blending until you have a dressing just thick enough to coat and hold on to the vegetables. Thin with a little more water if you need to. If you don't have a blender, mash the dates in a bowl until you have a paste, then finely chop the nuts, ginger, garlic, and chile, and stir in the lime juice and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well, and top with the crushed cashews and the rest of the cilantro.
→ Check out Anna's book! A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
Reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.