FFWD – Cafe Style Grated Carrot Salad

Cafe Style Grated Carrot Salad

There’s a restaurant on the west side of Vancouver called The Naam that’s open 24 hours. It’s a vegetarian restaurant that seems left over from the hippie era. When I was in University we’d drive across town to go there in the middle of the night, famished after late study sessions. The staff back then tended to be in a somewhat…altered…state and it could be quite a while before any of the servers noticed you. Once they did, they always got your order right, but it could be up to an hour before the food arrived at your table. Actually, it was a couple of hours more than once. At least there was never any lag between the order coming up and the food arriving at the table.

As long as I could flag someone down to bring me a cup of tea, I didn’t mind. It was that time of life when there was so much to say and hear that sleep seemed like a terrible waste of time. (Funnily, none of us seemed to feel that way about sleep in the mornings.)

The food there is good, in that granola way. In fact, their miso gravy is so good that they bottle it and sell it in stores now. It’s mostly healthy, too – with additions like shredded carrot and beet in their salads and as a garnish for many of their plates. I always enjoyed that, but I’ve recently learned that a friend of mine absolutely did not and as a result, was often frustrated when she went there. She would ask for it to be left off her plate, but the (aforementioned, less-than-fully-alert) staff would always bring her meal with carrot and beet. The hippie obsession with shredded veggies is not a universal taste, it seems.

This salad, though it’s a grated slaw rather than a shredded garnish, reminds me of those days, Even with its slightly sophisticated apple cider-Dijon vinaigrette, it still has the flavour of the sort of virtuously vegetarian fare that a hippie restaurant serves.

A close up of the carrot salad, dressed with toasted walnuts.

I didn’t stray from the recipe, really, though I left out the suggested raisins and toasted the chopped walnuts before I added them. It would make a nice side for a picnic or barbeque, wherever anyone would serve traditional coleslaw. It would make a nice addition to a salad, too. When I make it again, I think I’ll throw in a mixture of the sorts of seeds, nuts, and dried fruits I often add to salads. Another easy, versatile template recipe from Around My French Table to add to my repertoire.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Cafe Style Grated Carrot Salad


38 thoughts on “FFWD – Cafe Style Grated Carrot Salad

  1. I have a mental image of “University Teresa” and I really enjoyed your description of the restaurant 🙂 Those were the days, weren’t they?

    I can remember being out with my friends at school, staying out until wee hours of the morning and then driving four hours North to my parents house without sleeping. And other stupid things.

  2. I would have left out the raisins, too…but instead decided to make up the scallop salad I missed last week. I’m thinking I would have liked it after your description. Did you go to UBC? Did I ever tell you my dad taught physics there in 1977-78? And my sister majored in engineering there.

  3. Ick, I despise raisins in general and with carrots … shudder. Good call on leaving that out. Funny description: virtuous vegetarian fare. Indeed! I am with you on adding more seeds and nuts for texture as well.

    1. I’m not a fan of raisins, unless they’re on their own or covered in chocolate. I was rather pleased with my triple-V phrase, I have to say.

  4. looks good!! 🙂 they serve this with raisins and fresh grapes as a side with every dish at our favorite tea house so its not too foreign 🙂

  5. Teresa, Such a nice post…the days when sleep didn’t matter as much as the time spent with friends. Your carrot salad looks lovely…we really enjoyed this one. I have been making a similar salad for years. A family favorite!

  6. Lovely story and great memories. This was a simple recipe and works great with burgers
    for a lovely summer meal.

  7. Your salad looks delicious, and the restaurant – what fun! And how wonderful a time when you didn’t really care when you got your meal, you were having such a great conversation!

    I think your addition of walnuts looks really great too!

  8. Fun to hear about your university days and the restaurant. Your salad looks so good nestled in that sweet little cup. Like you, I can see variations on this for a long time to come! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment, I left a reply for you there as well. It’s good to connect again.

  9. I used to go to a place like Naam when I lived in NYC called “The Life Cafe” I as hung out in a macrobiotic restaurant that had the same kind of staff and a really good shredded carrot salad with miso dressing.

  10. What a great story, Teresa. I think it’s neat to hear the memories our recipes evoke. I didn’t grow up eating anything like this, really, but really enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of raisins, so was happy when I found currants.

    Have a good weekend!

  11. Food and memories are always wonderful topics for posts and I enjoyed reading about your “food memories” – and the Grated Carrot Salad looks very nicely presented, I omitted eat a grated carrot salad once a week.

    Have a great Sunday!

  12. That’s so funny, you brought up memories of a few cafe’s very similar to that around Sydney University too! Your salad looks great!

  13. Oh, Teresa, all of us have those memories. I think, because in every University town there is still a well-worn, outmoded hippie cafe where everyone goes. In Flagstaff (University of Northern Arizona), there is a place called Macy’s and we’re talking a grits-and-granola staff. Really. But on the week-ends, especially, you cannot find a seat – all day. It’s still a popular hangout. So glad your carrot salad brought back this memory, for you and all of us.

  14. You nailed the character on this one, Teresa. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it’s hippie-crunchy-granola through and through. I also left out the raisins in favor of toasted walnuts, though it wasn’t interesting enough to thrill me. I think I was hoping for French flavors, but I got “virtuous vegetarian”. Maybe with that in mind, I’d have enjoyed it more.

    1. I wonder what the French equivalent of hippy-crunchy-granola is? I bet it’s a little more sophisticated than it is here. 🙂

  15. I’ve heard great things about the food in Vancouver, your description of the restaurant made me want to go try it. It definitely sounds fun. Beautiful photos of the carrot salad.

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