Kale & Caramel || Carrot, Feta, and Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss
I’ve had cookbooks inspire me, motivate me, and reinvent the way I look at the way we eat, but I’ve never had a cookbook touch me on a deep, emotional level before now. Lily Diamond’s book, Kale & Caramel; Recipes for the Body, Heart, and Table , speaks to me as a mother, a daughter, and a passionate cook who believes that food has the power to heal both the body and soul.
Reading and cooking my way through Lily’s book left me virtually speechless; I wasn’t sure how to write a post that adequately conveyed how much heart and soul she poured into writing it. So, I decided to live with it. I read it cover to cover, I cooked a plethora of dishes from it including this Carrot, Feta, and Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss. I pampered myself with blackberry basil face masks and coconut mint salt scrubs, and I soaked every page in.
As much as this book is about the recipes that grace its pages it is also a touching memoir that documents Lily’s life through love, the loss of her mother, and the power that plants have to heal the body, mind, and soul even through the deepest grief.
We’ve been enjoying this gorgeous Carrot, Feta, and Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss quite often over the last few months. Sometimes on its own, other times as a side dish and even stuffed into wraps with homemade falafel. It’s always a beautiful addition to the dinner table and since orange blossom is known to have qualities that can reduce anxiety I intend to continue to indulge especially during those hectic weeks that seem to be more frequent these days than ever before.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons orange blossom water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 carrots, washed, tops trimmed and reserved
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- ⅔ cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Combine the oil, vinegar, orange blossom water, honey, cumin, cardamom, the ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and the salt in a jar, seal, and shake to blend. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Use a vegetable;e peeler, mandolin, or spiralzer to slice the carrots into long, thin strips. Finely chop a handful of carrot tops (resulting in a bout ¼ cup). Place the carrot strips and tops in a large salad bowl.
- Add the mint and pistachios, and pour 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.