In the Olden Days before lockdown, one of the Saturday delights of Broadway Market, near me in London, was the stall selling wonderful home-made salads. The chef-patron, a charming woman who never held back on generous portions, was always willing to describe her recipes. She told me that this one is typical of food served all over Russia and is sometimes called Korean salad. Investigating on the internet I see that there are multiple versions of this dish, but this one works for me. I make it a lot when I entertain a dear friend whose long standing health condition means that she has lost much of her sense of taste but she can experience the fire in this one and loves the crunchy texture. It works with any dish where you might want something strongly flavoured to offset a main dish that is at risk of being a little bland, such as a fish pie or an omelette. It keeps well for up to five days, covered, in the fridge. Although you can eat it straight away, it benefits enormously from a few hours in the fridge. What happens then is that the carrots submit and soften and the flavours develop beautifully.
This is a great buffet dish, if we ever get to do those again…
If you don’t have a julienne grater or a food processor, just use the coarse side of a box grater.
1 small onion or shallot
A little bland oil such as sunflower
2 garlic cloves
3 spring onions
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons any vinegar, ideally white or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
Chop the onion finely and sweat it in the oil until it is softened and glossy. Use a julienne grater or food processor to make strips from the trimmed, peeled carrots and put them into a basin. Add the cooled onion, including its oil. Chop the spring onions finely and add them to the dish. Put the garlic through a press and add it. Add all the other ingredients and mix them well. Cover and put in the fridge for 4 hours.
Serve at room temperature.