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I am unsure who coined the phrase stating “the salad is the main course”. So many people think of a salad as nothing more than a bit of limp lettuce, a tasteless tomato, watery cucumber and Heinz salad cream. Fortunately for me that was not the salad of my childhood. My father loved to prepare a big salad for Sunday afternoon tea. This was often on the off-chance that one of his brothers or sisters and their family would drop in en route from or to my grandparents house.

My Dad loved to “mess about” with food. My Mother cooked. My Dad was a bit like me. An experimental cook.

So on Sundays the salad was often the main event.

I like to do combo salads, making a bed of plain leaves or spinach and then topping it with a number of different salads.

That is what I did today. A bed if spinach and topped with my version of the Engine 2 Kale Cerviche Salad, a Red Rice Salad and this a very spicy carrot salad, which could not be easier or quicker to make.

Ingredients:

6-8 med/large Carrots
4 Pitted Dates
1/2 cup of water
1 Tblsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tblsp Brown Rice Vinegar (or any white wine vinegar).
1Tblsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
2 Cloves of Garlic (peeled)
Hot sauce to taste. (Start with 1/4 teaspoon).

Wash and top and tail the carrots. Then grate or shred on a mandolin.

To make the dressing:
In a high-powered blender blitz dates with the water to make a date paste then add the garlic. Blitz again. Add the mustard, vinegar and soy or Tamari and hot sauce. Blitz again until thick and creamy.

Pour over carrots and mix thoroughly. Allow to rest for min of 30 mins to allow flavours to develop.

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Here you can see it served with two other salads, some hummus and biscuits for a very filling lunch.

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