Photos by Nicholas Prakas
Before the summer cast it's final golden glow over the streets of NYC a few weeks ago, I found myself making my way over to designer Peter Som's gorgeous West Village apartment to hang out with him for an afternoon and pretend to help him make us a meal. I say "pretend" not because I was being lazy about it, but because the man's got some serious skills in the kitchen--so much so that I was rendered pretty much obsolete. I basically just trailed after him haplessly while he tossed, chopped, and artfully arranged the most beautiful, well-dressed carrot salad I ever did see. All while wearing an outfit that managed to stay immaculate through this process, and keeping a serene smile on his face. It was kind of miraculous, and by the time I left, I was feeling full, happy, and enamored with Peter. Here's his take on the dish, along with the recipe.
This salad has become one of my go-to dishes for summer entertaining in the country. It can be easily scaled up for a large crowd and almost everything can be done in advance. The variations are endless—add in sliced peaches for a sweet note, or top with grilled chicken breasts to make an entrée. In my last version I swapped out the pickled red onion for pickled plums. But ultimately this salad is great as is and --of course—accompanied with a crisp glass of rose!
Peter Som's Carrot Salad
1 bunch organic carrots
2 tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup feta, crumbled
¼ cup or so pickled red onion (recipe follows)
3 cups greens, arugula, spinach or baby kale
1 teaspoon or so lemon zest
Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Clean and peel carrots and place on a sheet pan. Cut some of the larger carrots lengthwise so all carrots are approximately the same size. Toss with the harissa, cumin and extra virgin olive oil.
Roast for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned.
Slice the radishes as thinly as possible using mandolin or sharp knife. Wash and drain the chickpeas.
Toss chickpeas, feta, greens, radish and pickled onion with the vinaigrette and place on plate. Top with roasted carrots. Dust with lemon zest.
Lemon Vinaigrette (zest the lemon first for your zest!)
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium jar with a cap, combine all ingredients. Cap the jar and shake until thoroughly combined.