Cooking is a constant push forward in my life. I’m constantly challenging what I know, what ingredients I use, and even how I use common ingredients. It is exciting and overwhelming all at once. One of the areas I’m pushing myself this year is to step out of my rut with herbs. I have my favorites but there comes a time to move past those and explore more. So I planted lovage, tarragon, and savory. On top of this, there’s a few herbs I’ve always grown but rarely use in my cooking. Mint being the prime example.
In perfect timing, my friend Lily just released her blog-titled book, Kale & Caramel. In a time where the release of cookbooks feels overwhelming, it’s always a treat to receive a book that radiates passion and creativity. Each chapter is focused on a specific aromatic herb or flower with recipes that highlight each. This orange blossom toss is from Lily’s book and while it’s in the orange blossom chapter, I chose it because of the mint. It’s a beautiful balance of the floral and herb flavor with one of my favorite vegetables.
Carrot, Feta & Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss
Not sure about Orange Blossom water? This article has a solid run down of it!
Orange Blossom Toss
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Carrot, Feta, and Pistachio Salad
- 10 carrots washed and tops trimmed and reserved
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves plus more for garnish
- 2/3 cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta
Make the orange blossom toss: combine the oil, vinegar, orange blossom, water, honey, cumin, cardamom, the 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and the salt in a jar, seal, and shake to blend. Alternately, whisk the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Make the salad: Use a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or spiralizer to slice the carrots into long, thin strips. Finely chop a handful of carrot tops (resulting in about 1/4 cup). Place the carrot strips and carrot tops in a large salad bowl.
Add the mint and pistachios, and our the dressing over all. Toss to combine. Gently fold in the feta. Top with mint and extra red pepper flakes, if you want an additional kick of spice.
by Erin Alderson
Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Explore Kale & Caramel
As mentioned above, I really love Lily’s approach to the layout and recipes in her book. Everything has a creative energy that gets me excited to use more herbs and flowers. I think the recipes really speak for themselves so here are a few other recipes from the book.