RECIPE: Carrot Slaw with Pomegranate and Citrus
- Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
During the depths of winter, I want an occasional crunchy salad to accompany a stew or soup, but the lettuce that’s trucked or flown in from California is often in poor condition. In New England at least, it’s tough to find the farm-fresh baby lettuce mixes I’m accustomed to buying in the warmer months. Here’s where a shredded carrot slaw makes perfect sense, and a perfect base to which you can add other produce readily available in winter months, including pomegranates, parsley, and celery. With these varied colors and flavors, my mood usually brightens, and so does the lunch or salad plate. With a simple organic orange and lemon citrus dressing and a touch of maple syrup or honey, I’d almost eat this salad for dessert. To make prepping easier and faster, pull out your food processor’s shredding blade (the one with multiple holes), if you have one. It turns peeled carrots into a shredded salad in minutes.
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 2 stalks organic celery, cut in half lengthwise and sliced very thinly on the diagonal
- 1 cup razor-thin slices of red cabbage
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh parsley, finely minced
- Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate, about 1/2 cup, or 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (See note for opening a pomegranate). Set aside 1-2 tablespoons for garnish.
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 or 2 oranges)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons raw honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot or red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Using your food processor, attach the holed shredder, and push the peeled carrots through. (You can also use a standard box grater, but it will take longer.) You should have about 4 cups, but the salad is very forgiving with a little more or less. Place in a medium-sized salad bowl, and mix in the celery, red cabbage, parsley, and pomegranate seeds (minus those reserved for garnish). Mix gently
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake until mixed, or whisk together in a small bowl. Don’t dress the salad until just before serving and even then, dress only the amount you will be eating until it tastes juicy and delicious. Holding the dressing until it’s time to serve keeps the salad fresh and crunchy, not soggy. Taste, and add a pinch or two of additional salt if needed. Garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds.
Choosing and opening a pomegranate: Recently, I kept eyeing a pomegranate languishing on my counter, shriveling a little bit each week as I left it unused. Previously, I might have eventually tossed it into the compost, without even opening it. But in my new effort to waste less, I decided to open it and was delighted to discover that the red seeds, or arils, were still juicy and bright, which isn’t always the case with old pomegranates. When buying fresh pomegranates, be sure to select those that are the brightest red and have no obvious soft spots or major bruises. To open, use this trick I learned from Abe, an Egyptian-born cashier working at Whole Foods Market. With a paring knife, cut a circle the size of a quarter around the top and bottom ends of the pomegranate and remove each circle. Use the knife to score the fruit on the outside in 4 even quarters, just cutting through the thin red peel and trying to avoid cutting the seeds. Open the fruit into quarters over a wide bowl, and gently push the seeds with your fingers from each quarter. Discard any pieces of white pith. Pomegranates promote good gut health and contain fiber, vitamin c, potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients and antioxidants.