A fresh and simple carrot watercress salad tossed with an orange blossom dressing.
As quickly as it arrived it was gone. Last week it rained for one day; that morning the skies were a dark stormy grey and rain poured down for most of the day with an intensity that seemed to finally signal an official start to fall.
Being somewhat resistant to change, my heart still longed for summer, for all its light and brightness, but I felt finally ready to welcome the cooler weather and cozier days. I’d changed my mind, call me fickle, but I was now feeling somewhat enamored with fall and all the magnificent sunset shades of the season.
Only a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure that I was ready. Now I thought to myself, this would be the time to start revisiting those classic cold-weather comfort foods, to curl up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea and enjoy the sound of rain tapping on the windows, and therefore the sound of water rushing was a welcoming one.
It was settled, fall was here and I was looking to make something warm and comforting; except that it wasn’t, at least not for long. Just as quickly as the rain had arrived, the sunshine elbowed its way back in and my plans for soup and heartier fare were quickly thwarted.
And so, this past weekend the sun shining above, lunch was back outside and on the menu: a simple carrot watercress salad with an orange blossom water dressing.
The key to this salad is to allow some time for the flavors of the cooked carrots and dressing to mellow and marry. Tossing the carrots with the dressing while they are still hot allows for better flavor absorption. A leafy tumble of crisp watercress serves as a bed for the dressed carrots that are then topped with crunchy marcona almonds and salty green olives. The watercress adds a peppery freshness to the carrots, while the orange blossom water lends a bright floral kiss.