|Carottes rapées, the quintessential French salad entrée.|
Perhaps the most common all-year-’round French entrée is carottes rapées. No matter the season, one can always find a decent carrot. I think My-Reason-For-Living-In-France could eat carottes rapées every day.
Since I’ve been in rehab, I’ve had them three times.
They’re the easy, who doesn’t like carrots (?) family solution for a quick appetizer. Many classic French restaurants offer them on the menu, but I wouldn’t dream of ordering them. I want something more “exotic” when I’m not in charge of the preparation.
|Remember, finely grated.|
All we’re talking about here is grated carrots. The trick for success is simple: The carrots must be very finely grated and the dressing should be added at the last minute so the carrots remain crisp.
Perhaps more creative and adventurous cooks have more complex sauces for their grated carrots; I do not.
The entire process is embarrassingly effortless:
Peel and grate, let’s say seven or eight carrots. You can judge the quantity you want by the size of the carrots and the quantity you see accruing as you grate, grate, grate. Set aside.
For the sauce, combine:
Six Tbs. lemon juice (approximately two lemons)
1/2 cup + two Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Four (I use less) tsps. sugar — let’s say “to taste”
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Some friends of mine add a scant teaspoon of Dijon mustard which I think is an excellent idea.
About a half bunch of Italian parsley roughly chopped.
Whisk ingredients together and dress the grated carrots. The carrots should be covered in the vinaigrette, but not sodden — if you see what I mean.
Et voila, it’s that simple.