Carrot Salad with Pomegranate and Orange Blossom Water

Carrot Salad with Pomegranate and Orange Blossom Water

What with the skies darkening earlier and the cold starting to settle in, it feels like time for a bit of sunshine in my kitchen. What better way to add colour than a vibrant salad of orange and red, plenty beta-carotene to improve eyesight on these dark nights and antioxidants to ward off colds? The preserved lemon and orange blossom water add bite and fragrance in equal measure and ring the changes on the traditional carrot salad which I remember from my childhood.

For 4 people:

6 large carrots, grated
Juice of 1 large orange
A few drops of orange blossom water
1 preserved lemon, peel chopped
A handful of mint leaves
Seeds of ½ pomegranate

Peel and grate the carrots into a mixing bowl. Add the orange juice and just a couple of drops of orange blossom water. While the orange blossom adds an exotic, North African taste to the salad, this is a case of less is more. You can always add an extra drop or two if you like.

Now add the peel of the preserved lemon. Wash the lemon under running water as you remove the pulp. These lemons are salty so they need a wash while you pull off the peel. Dry the peel with kitchen towel and chop into fine strips. Add these to the salad along with the seeds from the pomegranate. You can remove the seeds by cutting the pomegranate in half – beware of your clothes as juice flies everywhere – and then cut in half again. Take the quarters, bend the skin back a bit so that the seeds begin to fall out. You will have to pick out the rest and remove all the papery skin that separates the pockets of seeds. I tend to eat half of them as I go as they are so delicious.

Finish off with a handful of mint leaves, chopped into thin strips. Mix in well.

I think the flavours intensify if you leave the salad in the fridge if you are going to serve it a while later. Remove it a bit before you serve it so it is not too cold. It has a lovely fresh taste.

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