Since this dish debuted on the menu, our guests can’t get enough of the Burnt Carrot Salad. You asked for it, so here is the story and a recipe you can try at home, sans fireplace.
When Chef Michael Paley set about to create this salad for the very first Metropole dinner menu, he wanted to stay away from the tradition of using lettuce as a base for salad. Instead, he decided to make this salad more vegetable-focused, with carrots featured front and center. The carrots are carefully charred in the fireplace, but without the smoky taste one might expect from this cooking method. Instead, the flames add an unexpected element caramelized texture to the dish that has lent itself to being one of the only dishes that has stayed on the menu since our opening. This fan favorite not only shows off the versatility of the fireplace, but it also proves to be a simple dish to replicate in your own kitchen. Below we’ve included the complete recipe for this famous appetizer: bon appetit!
Burnt Carrot Salad
with avocado, pickled onion, cilantro, feta & toasted pumpkin seeds
*Chef’s Tip: Use a cast iron pan- it’s a great way to simulate the char effect without having a planch over the fireplace.
2 each, large carrots, peeled and ends trimmed off
2 each, firm avocados, halved and thickly sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pickled red onion, julienne
1/4 cup picked cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons flatleaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon for searing carrots
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and then cut them into 3.5 inch segments. In simmering salted water, slowly poach the carrots until they are easily pierced with a paring knife.
2. To ‘burn’ the carrots, bring a cast iron pan to medium high heat and coat it with the one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, season the carrots with salt and pepper and lay in the pan with the flat cut side down.
3. Turn the heat down to medium and let the carrots start to slowly develop a nice, even, dark char. If the pan is too hot, it will burn the carrots.
4. Once the carrots are charred, pull out of the pain and set aside to bring to room temperature.
5. To make the salad, in a large mixing bowl combine the carrots, avocado, feta, pickled onion, cilantro and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.
6. Divide the salad evenly among the four plates and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.