Cooks and Carrots – and a Carrot and Coriander Salad
The biennial, international food and wine festival, “Tasting Australia”, is coming up here in Adelaide in a few weeks time. It is a week long “foodie-fest” which also involves some industry events, including the awarding of the Le Cordon Bleu World Food media Awards. This year South Australia’s own Wakefield Press has had three of their publications nominated for the prestigious awards – “The Blue Ribbon Cookbook”, by Liz Harfull has been nominated for Best Hard Cover Recipe Book (under 35 Euro) and Lolo Hobein’s “One Magic Square” and John Barlow’s “Everything But the Squeal” have both been nominated for Best Food Book. The nominations come from a jury of over 50 international food industry professionals looking at the best the world has to offer in the field of food media and Wakefield Press have every reason to be deeply chuffed for scooping three nominations in such a competitive arena!
To read the rest of the piece that I wrote about these three books you can look at the full article on Boomerang Books Guest blog!
I have previously mentioned my lovely eldest daughter, the Cupcake Queen, in my literary ramblings. She is in her late teens and can be quite frustratingly faddish and picky with her foods. One of her pet peeves is fresh coriander. She seems to be able to sniff it out and repeatedly turns her nose up at it, picking it out of anything and everything or simply flatly refusing to eat it, just like a two year old! I have put this behaviour down to her contrary teenage stage of life and tend to address it by threatening to strangle her if she complains about her meals which, admittedly, has had no perceivable positive effect to date. So you can imagine my surprise when I came across an article in the Dining & Wine section of the New York Times entitled “Cilantro Haters, It’s Not Your Fault“!
Apparently disparaging remarks about the taste of coriander (cilantro to our US friends) are not at all new, with some evidence that the flavour was mentioned unfavourably as early as the 17th century and even the kitchen maestro Julia Childs is reported to have said she thought that it had a dead taste and she would never eat it! There is some suggestion that people can be genetically predisposed to an aversion to coriander, although this has yet to be proven. What is known is that the coriander aroma is largely created by aldehydes and that similar aldehydes are contained in soaps and some lotions. Apparently some are more attuned to these aromas which would account for some people complaining that it tastes ‘soapy’.
This also explains the reaction of the husband of a friend of mine, many years ago, when I passed him a lovely, fresh carrot salad at the dinner table one night. He held the bowl in his hands, sniffed, fixed me with a cold glare and said “Does this have coriander in it?” Mistaking his interest for that of a true gourmet appreciating my latest culinary feat, I proudly answered in the affirmative, at which he stated his intense dislike of coriander and passed the bowl along. I was momentarily quite deflated, but bravely managed to recover and have never made the same mistake again, although he still occasionally queries me about any green flecks he spots in my food!
Today I offer you the recipe for that offending salad. It is simple, light, fresh and, I think, delicious, but you do need to know that not everyone agrees with me on that.
Unfortunately, I neglected to get a shot of the last carrot salad I made, so I have decided to show you a photo I took, on Tuesday, of the sun coming up through the trees in my front yard. I’ll bet it makes you jealous!!
- 4 cups carrot, grated
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- good pinch of sea salt
- 3 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 3 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup ( NOT maple flavoured syrup – use the real thing!)
- Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.