Malaysian-ish Carrots

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As we wait, eagerly, for early spring’s produce, we continue to need produce in our diets.

I attempt to eat as much local produce as possible, but that is nearly impossible this time of year. So I try to opt for hardier vegetables that might be harvested closer to home — things like root vegetables and winter greens.

Today’s post was inspired by a trip to Saté Kampar on East PassyunkAvenue, a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for best new restaurant.

One of my favorite dishes was a carrot salad.

Obviously, my version is done from taste, and does not possess the depth and complexity of the chef’s version, but it was a pretty good mimic.

One note: The restaurant version contains cucumbers, but since I had used all mine on the smashed cucumber salad I made earlier in the week, I went with just carrots.

The dish worked well as a side with our soy-ginger wok chicken and red quinoa, but it would complement pretty much any grilled, braised or broiled fish, chicken or meat dish, especially one that evokes Asian flavors.

Malaysian-Style Carrot Salad

This is best made a few hours ahead so the dressing can permeate the carrots — and it keeps for several days in the refrigerator; the flavor improves at it sits.

Serves 3

1 pound carrots, cut in matchsticks

1½ tablespoons natural peanut butter

1½ tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon canola oil

Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients except the carrots and cilantro.

Add the carrots and cilantro, and toss to coat with the dressing. Allow it to sit for several hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature.