roast carrot salad with goats cheese, salsa verde and honey
I’ve been teaching this roast carrot salad with goats cheese, salsa verde and honey in classes for a while and it always gets amazing feedback. It is perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish to roast chicken.
Get into the habit of serving your salads on a platter rather than a bowl so that everyone will get the right combo of ingredients – I always find the good bits drop to the bottom in a bowl.
The salsa verde bit is pretty amazing. One client’s family has christened it ‘Gemma’s amazing green sauce’ such is their love of it – they make a jar every week. Once you have this sauce under your belt, you’ll use it on all sorts of things. I love it stirred through pasta or served with fish, chicken or as a dip for veggies. Use it anywhere you’d use pesto. The salsa verde can be made the day before. Just keep it in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge and serve it at room temperature
Be gutsy. Salsa verde should be on the borderline of being too sharp. As it will be distributed thinly throughout the finished dish, that sharpness will be balanced by the sweetness of the carrots.
Leftovers are delicious for lunch and can even be puréed or mashed with a fork to make a carrot and cheese dip or sandwich spread. Scoop some on top of avocado on toast and you’re laughing.
Roast Carrot Salad Ingredients:
(serves 4 as a starter or side dish)
- 8-10 large carrots, it is pretty to use rainbow carrots if you can get them
- a drizzle of olive oil (around 2 teaspoons)
- Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 120-170g (4-5 ounces) Chévre – a soft goats cheese or Lancashire cheese
- Around 4 teaspoons of the best runny honey you have
- 2-3 teaspoons of red or white wine vinegar
- 4 handfuls (about a bag) rocket (arugula) or watercress
- 60g (3 ounces) flat leaf parsley (Italian parsley in the US) – stalks and all
- 60g (3 ounces) of basil – stalks and all
- A pinch of sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 heaped tablespoons drained nonpareille capers
- red or white wine vinegar to taste –1-1 ½ tablespoons added gradually
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In this recipe I use:
- large flat baking tray
- a large serving platter
- chef knife
- chopping board
- Nutribullet or food processor
- Heat your oven to 180°C fan (200°C regular) or 350°F (400°F convection) .
- Scrub but don’t peel the carrots then chop the leaf end off but leave the bottom end on. Depending on the size of your carrots, cut them lengthways into half or quarters. Lay the carrots on a metal baking sheet and drizzle them with oil then toss them and sprinkle them with sea salt. The better spaced they are, the quicker they will cook and the better they will brown rather than just steaming. Roast for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your carrots.
- While your carrots cook, make your salsa verde by putting all the salsa verde ingredients into a food processor or mini chopper and blitzing until smooth. You will be left with a bright green sludge. Taste it after it is blended and add more vinegar or salt as needed. See my note above about why you can be heavy with the acid. Set aside – it is fine on the side for a few hours or in the fridge for a few days.
- When your carrots are soft and golden with dark brown edges they are ready. They should be a little sticky and turning floppy.
- To assemble, scatter the rocket or watercress over a large platter, season with salt and pepper and a splash of vinegar then lay the carrots on top. drop thumbnail sized chunks of the cheese over the carrots. Use a spoon to take honey and then, holding it around a foot over the plate, drizzle it over the carrots. Holding it high means you’ll avoid getting big lumps of honey in one spot.
- Finally, drop small blobs of the salsa verde over the carrots. Finish with a sprinkle of vinegar over the whole platter and a final grind of black pepper and sprinkle of Maldon salt. Serve at room temperature.
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