Carrot Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Carrot Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing | Photo by Lauren Volo

Contribution by Sean Dooley from Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community

As a junior in college during the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era in New York, I struggled to find my identity in a city that seemed just as confused as I was. I took a break from my studies and committedto a year-long apprenticeship on one of the only organic farms in the region, in Jamesport on the North Fork of Long Island. Removing myself from the bustle of the city enabled me to focus on self-awareness and come to terms with my sexuality. It also allowed me the opportunity to meet other queer farmers and to gain a vast knowledge of the diversity of ingredients available but not commonly grown. One of my first tasks as an apprentice was to harvest the initial crop of spring carrots. As I had only experienced grocery store carrots previously, this was my first honest interaction with and true appreciation for such a humbling ingredient. In this recipe, I wanted to highlight the carrots raw, to preserve their color, texture, and sweetness. The salty and subtly sweet tahini dressing rounds out their earthy flavor while the cilantro lends a bright, herbal note.

Serves 4


¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound rainbow carrots
6 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves


1. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. If needed, thin with water to your desired consistency. 2.Shave the carrots lengthwise with a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Place the carrot ribbons in an ice bath to retain their color and texture until ready to assemble, then drain and pat dry.

3. In a large bowl, combine the carrot ribbons and dates. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and top with the sesame seeds and cilantro.

Reprinted with permission from Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community by Jesse Szewczyk and BuzzFeed's Tasty, copyright© 2020. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Lauren Volo © 2020


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