First, say hi to your new favorite salad. Second, lemon season is around the corner. During the next 10 months, I won’t be buying lemons, I would be picking them from the trees in my neighborhood. I always joke that I’m going to title my next cookbook “The Lemon Thief.” I don’t go into people’s yards, but if their tree is leaning over the sidewalk and is bursting with fruit, I borrow some. Sometimes I don’t have to because some generous neighbors leave a paper bag with fruits with the words “Help Yourself” on it.
We have two lemon trees, but the one in the back yard is old and lonely, while the front yard tree is young and lively yet stingy with fruits. It has only produced two lemons in the four years we’ve lived here. I use lemons daily in salads, dips, cakes, soups. I love their tangy flavor and ability to intensify, subdue or contrast sweetness, like in this simple salad. Lemons are the most vital ingredient in this crisp, refreshing salad.
If I were poor, I would have been living on this salad (assuming I could pick lemons). The sunflower seeds add extra crunch though they could be skipped. You can also replace them with different types of toasted seeds or nuts.
No matter how much of this salad I make, we always finish it. Don’t be afraid to make a lot of it, it’s as good or better the next day.
The only downside to this salad, but not the end of the world, is grating the carrots. Unless you have a food processor. I would have bought one just for this salad. A good food processor is expensive but worth it.
The Most Simple Carrot Salad
- 2 pound carrots - about 10 large carrots, grated
- Small bunch of cilantro or parsley - chopped finely (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- White or black pepper
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds - or any other seeds or chopped nuts
- Put everything in a large bowl and toss. Taste and correct seasoning. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if not tangy enough.