I love using interesting and varied fresh ingredients in my recipes. It used to be harder to find heirloom produce varieties, and I would have to scour farmer’s markets and specialty shoppes to find specialty produce. In the past few years, our local supermarkets and stores like Trader Joe’s have begun stocking heirloom and specialty varieties of our favorite produce.
Many unusual color vegetable varieties lose their vivid color when heated, so I prefer to use these in salads and in fresh preparations (Rainbow Carrot Curls: A Wow Garnish). Vegetables like heirloom tomatoes, red basil and rainbow carrots really add a beautiful and colorful wow factor to ordinary recipes.
This salad is hearty, satisfying and simple to prepare. It can be made with orange carrots instead of rainbow carrots and will be equally tasty with just a few less colors of the rainbow to admire. It boasts Garbanzo beans (chick peas) for a protein boost and almonds and scallions for color and texture.
This salad is best made several hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve. I prefer to shred the carrots myself since unpeeled whole carrots stay fresher than ready-to-use shredded carrots.
2 pounds of peeled rainbow carrots, or any color carrots, shredded
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained well
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 bunch of scallions, sliced thin
squirt of mustard
drizzle of honey or agave syrup
Shred carrots using the shredding blade of the food processor or using a hand grater or mandoline. Add well-drained garbanzo beans, almonds, dried ranberries and scallions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with mustard and honey. Toss well and enjoy.