Loaded with color, texture and crunch. That’s this candy cane beet and carrot slaw is. It is beautifully colored, bright-tasting and nutritious. Yes, there is so much good stuff going on with this salad. The carrots and chioggia beets are finely julienned (cut into matchsticks), then tossed with a splash of my favorite red wine vinegar and my very best olive oil, then right before I serve it I add some fresh parsley and what seems to be the mother load of toasted seeds. Absolutely necessary. For flavor and crunch. Trust me.
Fresh ingredients make simple things like a carrot slaw taste amazing
I love to shop at my weekly farmers market whenever possible to pick up incredibly fresh vegetables that are grown locally. I am convinced that this is the key to this salad and its raw vegetable power. How else could a handful of ingredients taste so amazing? Okay, there is the fact that carrots and beets are a great match AND carrots and sunflowers are equally destined for one another. Although, I do love traditional red beets (and their greens!) I chose candy cane striped chioggia beets for this salad. Not only do they have an amazingly beautiful color, but the real benefit is you don’t have to worry about a mess. No stained fingers, countertops or cutting boards! More reasons to visit the farmers market!
Seeds, seeds and more seeds!
Bring on the toasted seeds! I find toasted sunflower seeds can be addictively nutty. When I first move to Germany I actually had my family send over massive bags of toasted, salted sunflower seeds in the shell. Like I said… addictive. Toasting or roasting them brings out all of their flavor. As with pretty much all seeds and nuts. Which is why I love adding them to salads. In this case, sesame seeds plus nigella seeds for their subtle flavor of toasted onions. I buy mine at my local organic food store. They can also be found online. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to skip or use more sesame seeds instead.
Crunchy Beet and Carrot Slaw
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted (100 g)
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (black cumin seeds), toasted
- 3 medium to large carrots, julienned
- 1 medium chioggia beet, peeled, julienned
- splash red wine vinegar & extra-virgin olive oil (good quality)
- sea salt, to taste
- handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
In a large dry skillet (use a heavy-bottomed pan for best results), lightly toast the sunflower seeds over medium heat until aromatic and golden. You will need to do this in batches.
Pay close attention and shake the skillet frequently for even browning. Remove immediately once toasted so they do not continue to cook.
In the same pan, lightly toast the sesame seeds together with and nigella seeds until aromatic (ca. 1-2 minutes).
Place the beet and carrot strips in a serving bowl. Toss with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with a little sea salt, to taste.
Directly before serving, add the parley and toasted seeds. Toss to combine and enjoy!
- I used my mandoline (using a handguard!) to julienne the carrots and beet. This is a real time saver. If you have a food processor with a right attachment this will speed things up too. Otherwise, cut into thin matchsticks by hand. This may require a bit of effort, but using thinly cut beets and carrots really makes a difference.
- The seeds can be toasted ahead of time to save prep time if you are preparing a number of dishes. Using a heavy bottomed skillet also speeds things up, as the seeds with toast much quicker.
- If you don’t have nigella seeds or black sesame seeds on hand, then omit and increase the amount of white sesame seeds.
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I served this salad with classic chicken marbella and a mediterranen chickpea and grain salad. So good!
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