Carrot, Orange and Olive Salad

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I have to admit, I was very skeptical about this salad combination when I first read the recipe.  I don’t think I’ve had a salad that incorporates carrots, oranges, raisins and olives before but now that I’ve tasted it, I think the combination will be a staple at my house.  This simple and easy-to-make salad has a delicate salty-sweetness that’s really unexpected!  The toasted cashews give a nice crunch and flavors like cumin and maple syrup pull everything together.

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This is one of the first dishes I made in my new apartment in New York City.  I moved a few weeks ago, which is why I haven’t had time to post lately.  In the meantime, I’ve been sticking to some of my favorites: green smoothies and homemade granola bars.  But, I thought it was time to use my new (very tiny!) gas stove and actually chop something.  I’ve missed cooking!  The good news here: the hardest thing you’ll do is peel carrots and oranges, so pour yourself a glass of wine and get to it!

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The oranges simmer in their own juice and a combination of ground cumin and maple syrup.  It starts to bubble and makes the most delicious syrup which perfectly coats the carrot ribbons.  You’ll toast the cashews in the same pan once you remove the oranges.  I would have taken a picture, but unfortunately my smoke detector started going off… I’m still learning in my new, tiny (cozy?) New York kitchen.  Enjoy this as a light lunch or include it as a side dish with grilled chicken or shrimp!

Carrot, Orange and Olive Salad (slightly adapted from Deliciously Ella‘s cookbook) 

  • 5-8 carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 1/4 cup raisins
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup pitted olives (I used kalamata)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. First wash and peel the outside of your carrots.  I used 8 because the ones at my store were fairly small.  Once the outer layer is removed, peel the carrots and put the ribbons in a large bowl, preferably glass.
  2. Boil your kettle and put the raisins in an oven-proof bowl.  Once the water boils, pour it over the raisins so they get soft and plump.  Leave them there while you prepare everything else.
  3. Peel four of the five oranges and remove the white pith.  Cut the orange segments into bite-size pieces and add to a medium-large skillet.  Add the cumin and maple syrup.  Turn on the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.  You should see the orange juice start to form a syrup.
  4. Pour the oranges and the sauce over the carrots, then drain the raisins and add them too.
  5. In the same pan you cooked the carrots, add the raw cashews and toast, stirring, for about three minutes.  You should notice some browning.
  6. Add the cashews and olives to the bowl with the carrots and oranges.  Then squeeze the juice from the remaining orange and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  The olives are salty so you really don’t need much salt.
  7. Serve immediately, then store in an airtight container.

 

 

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