We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

French Carrot Salad and Sin City

My Traveling Tales by Linda
Me buying carrots at my local farmer's market.
       I did not visit Las Vegas until I was in my forties. This was mostly by intention on my part  since its reputation for glitzy seediness and over-the-top trashy opulence never exactly appealed to me. Really... a fake Eiffel Tower and smoky casinos with no windows in which it is always the same time of day? Not for me I thought. However, that all changed when Michelle won a sales contest and took me on weekend to Las Vegas paid for by her company. I remember getting good advice before I went. A friend suggested that I suspend all judgement and just enjoy the free trip, and that is exactly what I did.

View from our room at the Palazzo. You can see the Treasure Island "volcano" erupting.
Juliette had to drag me to Fremont Street, and then I had an absolute blast 
photographing the lights and old neon signs.
    I remember someone saying to me beforehand, "Just think of it as an adult Disneyland." So with that in mind I traveled to Sin City for the first time. I must admit that in spite of my latent puritanical leanings,  I enjoyed myself immensely. Such a spectacle, however unsustainable it may be, was a source of many sensory wonders. I have to say that the immense "theme park" that has been constructed is nothing if not enticing. What does all this have to do with French carrot salad you might ask?

The famous spurting fountains of the Bellagio.
    Since Michelle is a regular visitor to Las Vegas because of frequent business trips there, she is also "in the know" about the great food to be found. On our first night in town, we luxuriated in the late afternoon out on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi, a upscale French bistro on the strip and situated near Paris where were staying. The heat of the day was fading, and with our chilled glasses of wine we were served a plate of crusty french bread and a ramekin filled with a shredded carrot salad. It was not sweet like the carrot salad with raisins of our childhood, but instead was dressed with a delicious and tangy vinaigrette. Since that day (and after Michelle's skilled inquisition of our waiter), we have tried our hand at making it at home.

   I have been back to Las Vegas several times since my first memorable adventure. My last visit was our Sistercation of two years ago, when all three of us were able to meet up and live the high life at the Palazzo for almost a week during our annual get together, which we described in our Sistercation Trilogy posts. When in Vegas, I do however always think back to my first visit with Michelle and the great time I ended up having much to my surprise. Just remember... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless you decide to publish the photographic evidence on your blog.

Linda (left) and Michelle... Las Vegas circa 2004.

 Mark's French Carrot Salad

   I have had a renewed interest in the salad this year, when Mark made his version of the salad. We eat it almost weekly and it is a favorite of mine. We enjoyed it with Michelle and Maddie when they were here recently. We picked up the carrots at our local farmer's market, and Mark made his signature étoile, which I think is beautiful. The salad holds up really well for days, and I love to pack it in my lunch for work. It is a great summer salad and works well with ribs, steak and grilled chicken.

4 Tbsps of fresh lemon juice
1 rounded tsp. Dijon mustard
4-5 Tbsps good quality olive oil
1/2 tsp champagne vinegar

celtic sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 lb. shredded carrots 
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tb. chopped fresh dill
optional: Cooked corn sliced off the cob (2 cobs)

1. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.
2. Shred the carrots. The shredding disc on your food processor can make this easy.
3. Chop the red onion and mix with the carrots (add corn if desired). Mix vinaigrette in with the salad mix and then sprinkle in the fresh herbs. Stir until the salad is evenly mixed.
4. Allow to stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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