Salute the Salad : Grilled Carrots, Manchego, Orange, Agave, Pecans and Sultanas

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

This relatively simple salad will seem all the more fabulous if you use a few different colours of carrots.   I found the combination of just two colours worked well and decided against using purple ones.  I’ve also made this using baby carrots, which looks and works a treat.  Manchego is a fantastic ewes’ milk cheese from La Mancha, near Madrid, in Spain.  If you prefer, you can use British Wigmore or Berkswell, Italian Pecorino, or some other firm ewes’ milk cheese – something you can shave or slice over the top.  Agave syrup is a fabulous, earthy, sweet syrup, which complements the pecans – replace it with maple syrup if you can’t find it.

Grilled carrotsServes 4 as a starter

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients:
600g carrots, peeled, halved lengthways
3 tblsp olive oil
2 oranges, segmented
3 tblsp agave syrup (or use maple syrup)
50g sultanas (or golden raisins)
100g pecans, toasted and chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
handful salad leaves (perhaps rocket)
60g manchego

Step One : Steam or boil the carrots in salted water for 6 minutes.  If using baby carrots, cook for 4 minutes.  Tip into a colander and leave to drain.  Brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper, then cook in a heavy based pan until coloured on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes depending on their size.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Mix the orange segments with any of their juice you can squeeze from the ‘core’.  Add the agave syrup, sultanas and pecans.  Leave for 10 minutes, then mix in the remaining oil.  Leave for at least 20 minutes to allow the sultanas to soak up some of the liquid, tossing from time to time.  Just before serving, mix in the spring onion.

Step Three : To serve, lay the carrots on a platter or individual plates. Scatter on the salad leaves, then spoon on the orange, sultana and pecan mixture.  Thinly shave the manchego on top just before you serve it.

 

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