Friday, March 18, 2016

Perfect for Easter Brunch | Burnt Carrot salad | I'm addicted

I was so excited to photograph and then eat my lunch I forgot to sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds before the shot.  I realized only when I starting eating that they were missing.  Oops.
Hi friends. I can't believe Easter is next week.  I was starting to think about what I'd like to make for Easter brunch, though I'm not sure yet if I'm hosting or my Mum, but either way I'm making this salad.  The recipe is inspired by my favorite burnt carrot salad from Metropole inside the 21C hotel downtown Cincinnati.  They char their carrots in a massive wood burning oven, so they get this wonderful smokey flavor.  I made mine using a grill pan on the stove and while they didn't have the same woodsy flavor, the salad was still amazing.  I order it every time we go and find myself craving it constantly.  I could eat this every single day. The sweet, blackened carrots, creamy avocado, tangy lemon vinaigrette, the bite of feta and the crunch from pumpkin seeds, all alongside a generous portion of parsley and cilantro leaves - it's salad perfection.  It's nice to mix it up and have a salad constructed of carrots instead of greens too.  While the recipe is simple, it's the combination of flavors and textures that make it so crave worthy.  Metropole's version can be found online, but I made a few tweaks to better suit my liking.  It seems like such a perfect salad for an Easter brunch that I had to share it in time!  Enjoy!

See?  I added the seeds! :)
Recipe | Burnt Carrot Salad
(adapted from Metropole)

1 bunch of carrots, peeled and cut in half
2 ripe but firm avocados, peeled and cut in thick slices
4 TBS of cilantro, chopped or torn
3 TBS flat leaf parsley, chopped or torn
3 TBS pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
the juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard, Maille is my go-to
3-4 TBS olive oil + additional for searing carrots
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

(*optional: Add 1/4 cup pickled red onions, julienne.  I usually fish the onion out when I order this at the restaurant.  It is a bit too over powering for me and I don't love the lingering aftertaste.  I did not miss it at all in my version)

Cut carrots into 3-4 inch strips. Bring a medium sized saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Blanch carrots for about 3-5 minutes depending on their thickness.  They should still be firm, not floppy, but you should be able to pierce them with a fork.  Remove and place in ice water bath until ready to grill.  Warm up grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat.  Toss cooled carrots with a little olive oil until they are coated.  Place in warm pan and let them cook, without turning, for a few minutes.  Black, charred marks should appear in several places.  Then flip and sear on the opposite side. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Make vinaigrette (this is the biggest difference in my recipe and the linked Metropole version).  I just really like my own vinaigrette and it only takes a minute to make so I prefer it.  Either way is delish!  Squeeze all the juice of the lemon into a small bowl.  Whisk in 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp mustard.  Slowly whisk in olive oil, add more to make it less lemony and less to make it more lemony - extra lemony is very good with this salad!  Add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Combine avocado, cilantro, parsley, feta, carrots and vinaigrette in a bowl (pinions too, if you are using). Toss gently and place on 4 serving plates.  Top with pumpkin seeds.  Heavenly and so ridiculously good for you!!


  1. This sounds amazing! There's nothing better than a delicious salad..I will definitely have to try! I love your blog posts and am always happy to see a new one. I've drastically reduced my time on Instagram (I was spending waaay too much time mindlessly scrolling through! ) but somehow blog reading here and there seems more acceptable! 😉 Happy Easter!

  2. Completely agree! I'm a bit burned out with Instagram. I still post but don't scroll much anymore. Thanks for still reading my blog! ;) xx

  3. That looks delicious! Looking forward to making it. I've tried lots of your recipes and they are so good. I'm the same way with my Instagram. Cutting back :)

  4. This sounds (and looks) wonderful, Tessa! Perhaps in the summer we might get a better smokey flavor if we use our grills with the carrots on a cedar plank? Just a guess. I still think your version looks outstanding. I'm Pinning it. And this is how I fill my boards, by seeing great recipes on blogs.

    By the way, my niece's wedding was on the rooftop of the 21C in Louisville. I had no idea they had other cool! It was a lovely place, we had a room there and several meals in the restaurant as well. Delish!!

    Come visit~~~I do a lot of recipes myself. :)


  5. Sorry, Tessa, I don't see a Pin button. Is it me? ;)D