Shaved vegetables are all the rage right now. And unlike most of the fancy preparation methods in haute cuisine right now, you don’t need any special tools or gadgets to replicate this trick at home. A good, old fashioned vegetable peeler will do fine. There are multiple various peeler-like objects out there in the wide world, but I follow my grandfather’s rule when it comes to vegetable peelers: “keep it simple, stupid.” I like the cheap, basic, straight stainless steel peeler. You can see an example here. The fancy plastic and silicone ones often have a lot of extra bulk, or plastic attachments at the tip that make peeling carrots or asparagus a chore. And because most of the veggies I shave for salads or pastas are long and thin, I hesitate to use my mandoline, lest I lose a fingertip (it’s happened).
The next time you need to bring a dish to a summer potluck, be the person who brings a stellar shaved salad. You might even be more popular than the guy that brought the beer :)
Shaved Carrot Salad with Wasabi Dressing
3 carrots, peeled
handful mixed lettuce, spinach, or other salad green
1-2 TBS wasabi paste
4 TBS rice wine vinegar
3 TBS olive oil
1/2 TBS honey
1/2 TBS mayo or greek yogurt (optional, for richness)
toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Use a sturdy vegetable peeler to shave the carrots lengthwise, creating long, flat ribbons. Sometimes this works better if you hold the carrot along the palm of your hand and peel from your wrist to your fingers along with length of the carrot. A safer alternative is to set the carrot down on the flat edge of a counter and peel from left to right. Using the edge of the surface will allow room for the peeler to work as the carrot is shaved thinner and thinner.
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wasabi and vinegar. Whisk vigerously while adding the olive oil. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and adjust to taste. Many store-bought wasabi pastes are quite week and you might end up adding more if your prefer an extra kick. Add extra oil or vinegar for taste and/or body if needed. Extra dressing will keep for a week in the fridge.
- Plate the salad - top a handful of salad mix with the shaved carrots and drizzle the dressing over top. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if using.