CARROT, FIG & BLUEBERRY SALAD
I’ve left the blueberries whole in this salad, but you can blend them with a little seasoning to make a vibrantly coloured fresh dressing instead of the Herb Vinaigrette or Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette.
To encourage the ribbons of carrot to curl, I’ve put them in a bowl of iced water overnight. This is a great way of curling any finely sliced vegetables and I often do it with spring onions and fennel as their spiky bits curl and contort into all sorts of pretty shapes.
3–4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
100g (3óoz) whole almonds
400g (14oz) baby leaf spinach
200g (7oz) blueberries
Herb Vinaigrette or Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (see below)
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into thin ribbons (there is no need to peel them if they’re organic) and either use them straightaway, or place in an ice bath (bowl of cold water with ice cubes) overnight. (If using this method just ensure that you drain the carrot slices very well afterwards and leave them on a piece of kitchen paper to soak up any excess water before adding them to the salad.)
When you’re ready to serve the salad, chop the almonds and slice the figs. Place the spinach leaves in a bowl. Add the carrots, blueberries, figs and almonds.
Pour over the dressing of your choice before serving
This is my base vinaigrette recipe. I usually use a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid, unless I’m cutting back on fat and then I’ll use a 1:1 ratio, or no oil at all, then blitz it in a food processor as it helps to emulsify the dressing.
2 tablespoons orange, lemon or pink grapefruit juice, or raw apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely grated citrus zest
1–2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup, or 2 pitted Medjool dates (soaked until soft), or sweetener of choice
1–2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 small handful of mixed herbs, such as parsley, mint, thyme, marjoram, chives, basil, tarragon and dill (or you could use individual herbs rather
than a mixture)
6 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Blitz all the ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a
Gradually trickle in the olive oil through the funnel while the
motor is still running. After a minute or two the dressing should
have emulsifi ed and thickened, then taste and add seasoning. Store
the dressing in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1–2 weeks.
– Herb Vinaigrette: instead of using a combination of herbs add
2 tablespoons of a combination of chopped herbs of your choice and
combine with the rest of the ingredients, above.
– Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette: use 2–3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 finely chopped shallot with the rest of the ingredients, above.
Extract taken from Nourish by Amber Locke, available to pre-order here