My very first recipe on the blog! This was the one that made me decide to start this blogging malarkey - My husband has told me for years now that I should start putting my recipes out there but I never really felt that they were good enough, or that anyone would be interested in what I made for tea.... But here we are, I'm here writing this blog and you're here reading about what I made for tea... hopefully I'll be able to make it sound tasty enough to persuade you to want to make it for your tea too!
(On a side note - just to keep you all from asking, up here in Cumbria we call our evening meal our 'tea' and have it between 5pm and 6pm, but we call it dinner if its a bit later in the evening or you're going out, dinner is normally used up here to refer the the meal you have around midday..... we also have supper sometimes - but you would only have supper if you've had tea and not dinner, because that would just be greedy....! But thankfully breakfast is just breakfast... phew!)
I've made this recipe a few times now, we get a local veg delivery once a week and always get loads of lovely fresh carrots witht the tops still on, and to be honest I have always struggled to find interesting things to do with them - so now this is my go - to, super delicious, quick and easy dinner.
In this recipe I bake the feta, I love how creamy this makes it, but you really don't have to do this if you don't have time, it would be just as tasty as plain old crumbled feta. I also use pomegranate molasses in the dressing, you could easily swap this out for a drizzle of something sweet like honey to complement the vinegar in the dressing (but don't miss the sweet out, it's really important to get the balance or sweet and sour right!) However I strongly recommend adding some pomegranate molasses to your larder, they are available in most good supermarkets and aren't expensive.
To get the carrots into the lovely 'slithers' I just used a plain old potato peeler, this can be a little time consuming, but really isn't too much effort. But if you have a fancy gadget that will do this for you then this salad really will be a super speedy dinner. I usually end up being left with the thin middle bit of the carrot as I can't 'peel' any further or this recipe will no longer be vegetarian... but luckily they never get wasted as my 2 pooches LOVE carrots ..... they can often be found lingering around the kitchen whenever the carrots come out of the fridge..
All the ingredients are pretty much just chucked in together (couldn't be simpler) but if you're planning to save some for the next day, I would keep the dressing separate and only put on what you need for that day, this will keep the salad fresher.
You will see that a lot of the measurements I have in my recipes are a bit vague - a handful of this, a glug of that - I like to just use my gut instinct with most of my cooking, so putting things down like this in an actual recipe in is quite tricky for me. But I've kept things a bit vague because I also want you guys to use your gut too, you really start to get a feel for the food and how flavours work together when you play with recipes like this, rather than just following word for word.
This salad is one of those that once you have a bite, the flavours just take over and you have no control over how much goes in your mouth, generally until the whole lot's gone - at least it's reasonably healthy so you don't have to feel tooooo guilty about devouring the whole lot...
Serves 4 as side or 2 as main meal | Set oven to 180 degrees celsius
6 to 8 carrots A handful of finely chopped carrot tops or Parsley 1 pomegranate - deseeded A good handful of unsalted pistachios 1 packet of feta
For the dressing 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp apple cider vingegar Juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp ground corriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp - cayenne (or to taste) 1 tsp - nigella seeds
A good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Place the whole block of feta on a baking tray and put in the oven, this will take 15 to 20 mins to lightly brown all over
Use a potato peeler to cut the carrots into slithers and pop into a large bowl, add the chopped carrot tops/parsley, pomegranate and the pistachios.
In a jar mix together all the ingredients for that dressing and shake to mix.
pour the dressing over the salad and toss, then crumble over the baked feta.