We went camping in the beautiful north Cascades this weekend, where the forests look like a fairy tale all covered in layers of soft moss and delicate lichens. A million shades of green. Every inch of earth is covered by it. I love the simplicity and pureness. 

My mom used to make a carrot salad that only consisted of three ingredients. Carrots, cream and lemon juice. It would be too simple to write about! But I have to say, it is really crisp, bright and tasty. I have tried to fancy it up many times, adding raisins and walnuts and such - my family did not approve. But seeing all of the green mounds inspired me to recreate this salad with some more dimension and layers of flavor. What about caramelized pine nuts?

  • 1 1/2 pounds of carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • zest and juice of one lemon (or more if you like crisp flavors like me)
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Dry roast the cumin, paprika and cinnamon in a small skillet until fragrant. Set aside. Wipe the skillet clean. Melt the butter and add the brown sugar and pine nuts and a pinch of salt, stirring constantly until the sugar has melted and thickened and darkened just slightly. Remove from heat and stir frequently until the mixture has cooled, coating each nut with sugar and forming small clusters. Set aside.

Peel and grate the carrots. Mix the cream with the lemon juice and zest as well as the herbs and spices. Toss the dressing with the grated carrots adding lemon juice to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of pine nut brittle.

My young kids and Randy’s slightly older kids and all their college graduate friends approved this recipe!


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