Saturday, 21 November 2009

Carrot Salad and Pate

I recently found a superb carrot, walnut and cranberry salad in the Vegetarian Times among Thanksgiving recipes. I find it surprising to find a salad in a Thanksgiving menu. It seems more suited to an Aussie summer (or an Aussie spring pretending to be an Aussie summer).

I didn’t have walnut oil or silken tofu so I substituted mayonnaise and olive oil in smaller quantities. I think if you wanted to be quicker you could just substitute mayonnaise for the dressing because the ingredients are about the same. I am not really into creamy salads but the dressing was quickly soaked up by the carrot and just was really flavoursome. Quite tart, which may be because I used mayonnaise rather than tofu.

I loved the addition of walnuts and cranberries, though I might reduce the walnuts next time as they were pretty intense. It is such a simple idea. Why can’t cafes make yummy protein-filled salads like this instead of cramming them with meat. You could eat this salad with a light green salad and some good bread and it would make a satisfying meal. Or it would be excellent in a salad sandwich.

It is a good opportunity to rave about a pate-cum-dip-cum-spread that I found at Radical Grocery recently: Smoked Tofu and Olive Pate (I think the other ingredients were just a bit of lemon juice and capers). We have finished the dip so I can’t tell you who makes it but it was one of those flavours that make you excited to know there are still great innovative combinations waiting to be discovered. It is very good on bread with some of this carrot salad. It reminded me a little of the liverwurst paste we had on sandwiches sometimes when I was a kid (but tasted much much better). E thought it tasted like smoked ham spread and my mum thought it tasted like smoked trout. Try it if you get the chance!

When not piling the salad on top of some smoked tofu and olive dip on bread, I served it alongside falafel that my mum brought over for lunch; for dinner with salad, bread and pate, and tofu burgers; and, after a few days when I discovered the remains in the fridge, I had it with sausage and lentil pasta. Delicious!

Carrot, Walnut and Cranberry Salad
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Nov/Dec 2009
Serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp (soy) mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cup cranberries
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped

Mix the mayonnaise, oil, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Place the carrots, cranberries and walnuts into a large salad bowl and toss with the mayonnaise dressing till all are combined. Can be left in the fridge for about 3-4 days in an airtight container.

On the Stereo:
Scott Walker sings Jacques Brel


  1. thanks for the recommendation--I think the pate would be good for thanksgiving. and, I must say, most thankgivings we have hosted always have salads just to offer respite from the more fatty dishes. We often do a fennel salad, though we have done a carrot one but with curry leaves.

  2. This does sound great--light, refreshing, and very good for you! I love the sound of that pate, too--who would have thought to combine olives and smoked tofu? I'm guessing we can't get it here, but maybe I'll play with the idea in the kitchen.

  3. That looks and sounds like one perfect plate of food!

  4. Thanks Maybelle's mum - I probably have lived with E too long who doesn't like cold food for dinner but will put up with it in summer - but a nice salad does keep the meal lighter

    Thanks Ricki - would love to hear your version of the olive and smoked tofu pate

    Thanks Sarah - it is my sort of plateful - lots of colour and flavour

  5. Ooo this is an interesting and different salad! Looks delicious. That pate sounds amazing too. I love smoked tofu.


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