Purple Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GILLOTTI

Purple Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

I can’t get enough of purple vegetables. At the farmer’s market recently, I found gorgeous purple carrots. I thought to snatch them all up, but opted for a small healthy bundle. I’ll cross my fingers that I find more on my next trip.

Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

In the meantime, I’ll share with you a simple salad that will showcase the carrots. I could hardly stop myself from eating the whole bowl. It’s super delish! After we gobbled down this salad, I regretted my display of self restraint.

Purple carrots were originally recorded back in the day, way back, like the 900s. Carrots were cultivated for several centuries before our orange variety showed up in the 1500s, along with red and yellow varieties. I feel cheated for not experiencing the beauty of purple carrots until now. Plus, purple carrots have more to offer than their orange cousins: anthocyanins. This antioxidant, also found in blueberries, has been found to reduce inflammation and protect the nervous system.

Purple Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

The recipe:

  • 7-8 purple and orange carrots or ninjin(ニンジン)
  • 4 green onions or negi(ネギ)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – I used white and black, kurogoma and shirogoma (くろごま、しろごま)
  • 2 tbsp Okinawan brown sugar or kokutou(こくとう)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 inch piece ginger shouga(ショウガ)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or shoyu(しょゆ)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp toasted sesame oil or gomaabura (ごまあぶら)

Start by preparing the dressing. Grate the ginger into a bowl. Add the brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Whisk everything together. Chop the green onions and scrub the carrots well. Using a carrot peeler, make diagonal slices for the salad. Pour the dressing over the carrots and let this marinate for 20 minutes.

Purple Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

The carrots will soften a bit during this time. Top with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Purple Carrot Salad l Okinawa Hai!

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