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Turkish Carrot Salad

September 30, 2012

The carrot salad at Handan’s Café, the new Turkish restaurant in Charlottetown, appears to have taken the city by storm. No sooner did I tweet a photo of my lunch there recently, than people began raving. “The carrot salad is the best thing in the whole wide world,” said more than one person. “I think they use secret ingredients, unobtainable on PEI.”

Well that may be. But of course we had to try at home. Teresa found this excellent recipe which I used as a starter. I’m still going to tweak ours a bit, but the results tonight were quite successful. Won’t put Handan’s out of business of course.

Turkish Carrot Salad

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated either by hand or with a food processor
2-3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
generous 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise or light salad dressing
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1. Dry toast in walnut pieces in a large pan over medium-high heat. Keep turning the pieces until they start to turn a deep brown, but don’t allow them to burn. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes. Add the carrot and cook until the carrots turn a lighter colour, stirring frequently. Took me about seven minutes. You want the carrots sort of al dente, with a bit of crunch left to them. Remove from heat, add the salt and spices and put the mixture in a bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Finely chop the walnut pieces and add to the carrot mixture. Add in the yogurt, mayonnaise, dill and lemon juice and serve.

NOTE: I didn’t actually have any ground cardamom which is really what I want to use in this. Instead I found a small packet of Lebanese seven-spice mixture I bought at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market. Apparently the spices are nutmeg, ginger, allspice, fenugreek, ground cloves, cinnamon and black pepper in equal quantities. That certainly worked well.


From → Food, Recipes

  1. Let us know how it goes. A co-worker asked me to clarify whether this is served hot or cold. Cold.

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