By Melissa Pasanen
With recipe-testing assistance by Sarah Strauss
Photographed by Oliver Parini
Adapted from chef-owner Jana Koschak, North Folk Mobile Café and Catering, East Albany
This is a gorgeous salad that can be made with diced orange carrots, as Jana Koschak originally created it, but is particularly eye-catching with a mix of baby rainbow carrots. Although the colors may bleed when you cook them together, the lemon juice brings them back into focus. Serve topped with the yogurt and another handful of fresh summer herbs, or let guests spoon it on themselves.
1½ pounds small carrots, preferably multicolored, scrubbed clean and peeled if needed
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided,
plus more to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile or small jalapeño, seeded and minced, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice, divided
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 packed cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves (or a mix of fresh mint and cilantro), plus more to garnish
Trim carrot ends and halve or quarter lengthwise into pieces about the size of your little finger. Place in a large skillet with about 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer just until tender, but not too soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. (They will continue to cook a bit, so better to remove slightly undercooked.) Drain, rinse immediately with cold water, shake dry and place in a serving bowl.
Return skillet to stove over medium heat and add oil. Sauté onion until softened and turning golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, sugar, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and ginger and cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes until garlic is softened. Take skillet off heat. Return carrots to pan with remaining teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and toss to coat. Transfer to the serving bowl, making sure to scrape up all the spice and onion mixture. Salad can be made up to this point and left at room temperature for several hours.
Whisk remaining tablespoon lemon juice into yogurt with salt to taste. Chill. When ready to serve, toss carrots with chopped cilantro. Taste and add salt as needed. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve with yogurt. Serves 4 to 6.