For the last week or so, we’ve had lighter lunches, mainly consisting of a bit of bread, some cheese, vegetables, and fruit — the fruit we’ve been getting has been so good lately that we’ve made a concerted effort to make sure that we get our five-a-day. These lunches have been just perfect: the bread is always homemade, but, then, all our bread is; the cheese varies from day-to-day, and the vegetables have been things like broccoli florets, cucumber slices, and carrot sticks. Nothing exotic, just whatever has looked fresh and tasty.
Also, last week, we checked out a book from the public library (perhaps the greatest human institution ever) filled with recipes and ideas specifically for lunch: The Little Book of Lunch, by Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing. Now, it has some really nice-looking ideas to perk up your boring lunch hour, and we may write up some of them in the future, but we thought that we’d try this little salad as a change from carrot sticks. The authors point out that this is barely even a recipe, but we disagree. It is a recipe, just very quick, and easy, with a handful of ingredients. And, it fits perfectly with our idea of light lunches.
Everything looks pretty simple here, right? For the cheese spread, we used our Chèvre Spread, since we had a bit of fresh goat cheese in the fridge. But any kind of simple cheese spread will work, and even just plain cream cheese would be fine. Oh, the original recipe called for two carrots, and you can use two; just be aware that it’ll be enough for six to eight slices of bread, at least if the carrots are the size of ours.
Procedure in detail:
Mix ingredients. We like to peel our carrots. Sometimes the peel is slightly bitter, which we don’t want in a salad. But, if you’re okay with the peels, go for it. (We don’t let our carrot peels go to waste; they go into the veggie stock we make each week). Once peeled, or not, grate the carrot into a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice and strain over — the lemon juice helps to keep the carrots from turning brown, meaning you can make this in the morning and it’ll still look great at lunch time — the carrots. Add the poppy seeds and a grind of pepper, maybe a pinch of salt, and give it a stir to mix.
Spread and top. Spread some of your cheese spread on the bread, then top with the carrot salad. If you have some salad left, just eat it as a salad.
This was a nice change of pace from plain old carrot sticks, and it wasn’t much more trouble. Just the addition of grating the carrots and squeezing a lemon, and we think it looks a lot nicer than the ubiquitous sticks. We’ll say four stars, but you should still watch for some other recipes from the same book, as some of them look great. And, no, it’s not all sandwiches, either.