A noble roast carrot salad

Dutch carrots and red onion

Matt Preston’s 100 best recipes, 246pp.
by Matt Preston
Pan McMillan Australia, Sydney, 2012
Cooking on page 32

Matt Preston is one of three core judges for Australia’s MasterChef competition.

I hadn’t heard of him until he surfaced on MasterChef a few years back, but he has a solid background as a food journalist, restaurant critic, recipe writer and now television personality. I always think of his colourful and, sometimes, outrageous clothing. Think of a big guy in a hot-pink suit.

Recipes in this cookbook represent everyday food. Preston loves these dishes. They come from his childhood, his weekend cooking forays, his family’s favourites and much more.

Page 32 honours the carrot.

Roasted carrot salad

A noble roast carrot salad

Ingredients
18 Dutch (baby) carrots, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 witlof, heart discarded, sliced crosswise
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
200 g fresh ricotta, crumbled
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon toasted almonds
2 tablespoons honey, warmed
chervil or dill, to garnish

Dutch carrots Sunflower seeds and almonds Toasted sunflower seeds and almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the carrots in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the overn for 45 minutes until soft and almost caramelised. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

To serve, transfer the carrots to a shallow dish. Scatter the witlof, onion and ricotta over the top. Layer on the sunflower seeds and toasted almonds, and drizzle with warmed honey. Sprinkle over the chervil or dill to finish.

How it played out
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while and was delighted to find a large bunch of Dutch carrots for $2.50—and it had 19 carrots. Sometimes a bunch of nine can cost $2.99.

I made a couple of changes. Toasted the sunflower seeds along with the almonds, and used rocket (arugula) in place of the witlof. We like witlof, but I was too lazy to run to the shops when I had rocket on hand.

It wasn’t until I came to type up the recipe that I realised I had completely forgotten the honey. Oops!

Matt Preston cookbook

Verdict
Preston is right. This is a truly noble carrot recipe. We all loved it. The rocket added a lovely bitter, peppery taste, and we didn’t miss the honey at all. Oh, and I reckon this dish would go well with feta in place of ricotta.

This goes straight on to my make-it-often list.

Interested in travel?
Poor John and I are on an overland truck travelling from Tehran to Beijing. Carrots are everywhere and our cook group has made carrot and orange salad twice. Very popular. Feel free to check out my travel blog for info on some of the sights.

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About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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7 Responses to A noble roast carrot salad

  1. As I was reading the ingredients I got to ricotta and my nose screwed up all on its own! I thought “fetta but not ricotta then read on to where you suggested it as a sub! Now it sounds like a great carrot recipe 😉

  2. Rhonda says:

    Sounds delish! I have Matt’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious’ book, and have been eyeing off the photo on Page 32 of his ‘Innocent Pea Salad with Evil Porky Pepita Crunch’. I intend making it once the weather warms up a bit. I’ll let you know if it’s as good as it sounds!

  3. Pingback: Fill your new year with colour—welcome to 2017 | Where to next?

  4. Looks delicious. Shame the other half doesn’t eat the salad component. Still I think this would be a great dish for a family dinner, and the new vegetarian girlfriend of 20something son! Thanks for posting.

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