Let’s make a roasted parsnip salad with the help of a fun carrot sharpener. Your salads will never look the same.
So last weekend I invested in a carrot sharpener. Starting out this post like that will provoke a few questions like;
Who the hell “invests” in a carrot sharpener?
What is a carrot sharpener?
Do carrots even need to be sharpened?
Is that really how you spend your weekend? If so, you’re doing it wrong.
Well the answers to those first four questions is; Me, what it sounds like, not really and yes, maybe.
Seriously, what is a carrot sharpener?
So let’s take a closer look at this gadget. It is what it sounds like. An oversized pencil sharpener designed for you to sharpen carrots and other similar shaped vegetables. But you don’t use it to get the carrot sharpened even thought that is also happening.
What you really use is the carrot shapes that you sharpen off the carrot. And these turn out pretty cool looking. So I used it for a few days in some regular side salads for dinner. But then I started thinking, I know, I’m bragging right?
Well anyway I did and the cone shape that you get out while sharpening your carrots could easily be put together to something that will look great on a plate.
Making salads with the carrot sharpener
So today I went out and got some more carrots. I got some regular orange carrots, a couple of blue ones and some parsnips. Then I rounded up some plates from my collection and started shaping.
It’s as easy as it sound like. Peel the carrot and then put it in and twist. I twisted out thin “slices” little over an inch long. These could then be rolled into a cone shape. Once you have a few cones you can start putting them together into a bigger cooler shape.
I started out with some orange carrots and arranged them into an IKEA plate that I really like which is perfect for small plates or small soups. Things looked kind of good so I made a quick vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, parsley and some salt and drizzled the carrot salad.
Now things started to get exciting, if I would put just a little more effort into this I could create a real dish with this simple technique. At the moment all I had was some raw carrots with a regular old vinaigrette on it. Good looking sure but hardly exciting.
So I decided to try another quick dish. This time I tried with some purple carrots. I peeled them, sharpened them and arranged them in a different pattern, now on a flat plate. I then sprayed the carrots with balsamic vinegar, drizzled it with olive oil and some salt.
Well it can’t come to any surprise that even though this also looks good it isn’t much of a dish. Not unless you really really like carrots. I did like the spraying of vinegar though so I will revisit that in the future.
Then things got interesting
So if this is going to be anything but a huge waste of good looking carrots I had to be more creative. So I decided to try with the parsnips instead. After sharpening one I figured out that I wanted it to be more cooked. But if you roast the parsnip it will go soft and you won’t be able to sharpen it, so what to do?
Well I burnt the hell out of it. Using my Creme Brulée burner I burned two parsnips almost completely black. This way only the outer piece of the parsnips will soften. It is still hard enough to be sharpened but it will look way cooler and taste much better.
So I sharpened the parsnips with the carrot sharpener (I know, I’m mad right?) and put it on a plate. Then I added some salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. But I needed something more fun so I also grated some fresh horseradish on top. Then I shaped the cones and laid them out in a circle.
Now things started to look really good. But what is good can always be great, normally that means more fat. In this case it does too. I made some browned butter and added that on top and then ate it all. Absolutely delicious.
So now I have a recipe for it that you can try at home. The measurements here is a bit on the fly since I kind of made things up as I was making it.
Roasted Parsnip Salad with Butter and Horseradish
Serves 1 as an tiny appetizer
1 tbsp butter
1 small piece fresh horseradish
Peel the parsnips and burn them black on the outside. Cook them as shortly as possible so they don’t get too soft. Make sure to place the parsnips on something that won’t catch fire. Preferably a grill.
Sharpen the parsnips using a carrot sharpener, there’s a link further down if you don’t have one. Then season the parsnips with lemon juice, salt, pepper and grated horseradish. Oh, make sure to wash your hands after you sharpened the parsnips, they will get dirty.
Brown the butter in a pan. Turn the parsnips into cones and arrange in a circle. Pour over the warm brown butter. Serve immediately.
More thoughts on the carrot sharpener
So the carrot sharpener turned out to be a fun little tool. It’s super cheap and if you can’t find it in a store near where you live you can buy one here.
I really like this little tool and with some more exploration I think you can create some really cool salads, sides or parts of other dishes. The parsnip salad here would sit perfectly on a piece of fish wouldn’t it.
I’ll most likely revisit this little tool soon so stay tuned. And if you’ve already own this tool and made some cool stuff with it please let me know.