Crushed carrot salad with crispy spiced chickpeas & kefir dressing recipe image

Print Crushed carrot salad with crispy spiced chickpeas & kefir dressing

This is a salad in a loose sense of the word. Rather it is the coming together of plenty of complementary elements.

Ingredients

  • 40g flaked almonds
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • Light olive oil
  • 800g carrots
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ red onion
  • 15g mint
  • 30g parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g watercress
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 70ml kefir
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Spread the almonds out on one of the roasting tins. Toast them in the oven for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden in colour. Be careful not to burn them. Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water. Tip them into the clean tea towel and pat them as dry as you can.
  2. Remove the almonds, throw them with a dash of oil and a pinch of salt. Keep them to one side. Place the chickpeas in the roasting tray with 2 tablespoons of oil and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well and spread them out so they are one layer deep.
  3. Peel the carrots and cut into equal sized angled wedges, about 2cm by 5cm. Zest and juice the lemon.
  4. Pop the carrots into another baking tray. Add half of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and enough oil to generously coat the carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and tightly cover the tray with foil. Place the chickpeas on the top oven shelf and the carrots on the shelf below.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes. Giving the chickpeas a turn twice during cooking. They should be a golden nutty brown. Remove early if they look like burning. Prepare the rest of the veg by peeling and very finely slicing half of the red onion. Wash the mint and parsley, shake them dry.
  6. Pick the leaves off both and finely chop them separately. Peel and finely chop or crush 1 garlic clove. Wash and dry the watercress. Make the dressing by whisking the mustard and half the garlic with the kefir. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the mint.
  7. Remove the carrots and chickpeas from the oven. Remove the foil from the carrots. Mix in the honey and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until tender. Add the cumin, paprika and half the chopped parsley to the chickpeas. Mix well and leave to cool slightly.
  8. When the carrots are ready, give them a rough bash with a wooden spoon or potato masher. You want to lightly smash them into coarse pieces. Do this in the roasting tray so as they soak up the lemony oil.
  9. Mix the warm crushed carrots with the spiced chickpeas, red onion and watercress. Divide it equally between 2 plates. Artfully spoon the dressing across the salad. Scatter over the almonds, remaining parsley and a little lemon zest.

Cooks notes

Covering the carrots for the first part of cooking protects them from the fierce direct heat of the oven. It lets them cook evenly before taking some colour on in the final stage. Roasting chickpeas renders them crispy on the outside and soft in the centre. The occasional one falls foul of the oven and blisters, just discard any that look puffed up and burnt.
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