Look who’s here. A third of a year later. Look at me just waltzing in like I’ve had the busiest four months in my life. Ha! Whatever. My attempts for 2016 have been abysmal, so I can’t make any promises, but I shall attempt to better myself on the c”ooking, holding off the eating part, photographing, and then, once that’s done, and only then, eating” -front. Let me introduce you to my first attempt below.
I may not get out much, but I feel that I am speaking truthfully if I say that I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like smoked salmon (food-group avoiders/haters, you are exempt). It’s what people whip out to up their brunch game, or to add some glam to their last-minute assembly of party canapés. As soon as there’s smoked salmon anything, people lose their shit and will leave said event with the best memories ever, for life. Good for them. That’s how it should be I reckon – simple, elegant, crowd-pleasing, delicious. And unforgettable. But you know what? I fucking hate smoked salmon. There, I said it. For years I have tried to fall in love with that stinky oily rag of sea creature, but deep down I’ve always known that there’s no way in hell I will ever grow to love that stuff. So instead, I compromise and eat it anyway, because there are worse things in life(definitely better ones, too), and the lovely people offering it to me only mean well. And to be honest, I love how smoked salmon is used, especially the ultra clichéd cream cheesed and capered baguette sliced variation. Again – simple and fancy. I was actually slowly getting to terms with the “either eat and slightly regret or admire from afar and feel sad” relationship I was forming with it, when I accidentally tripped over a vegan youtube channel that had some pretty interesting ideas about smoked salmon alternatives, ones that for once weren’t of the tofu / tempeh / seitan variety. Hurray! I decided to try out the recipe, and try it I did. And you know what? I’m really into it.
Roasted carrots people! What a versatile vegetable. Marinated for a day or so, then used the same way as salmon would be. It even looks a bit like smoked salmon. Those of you who love the original, you will most probably be disappointed, so maybe don’t make this. However, everyone else who has the same complicated relationship with pungent sea dwellers as I do, venture forth.
Roasted, Marinated Carrot to Use as a Delicious Topping
The Carroty Smoked Salmon Alternative
(titles aren’t my strength today, soz)
This can be adjusted to however much you want to make, but I’d start off with the amount below, just in case you decide that you are not a roasted marinated carrot person
2 medium-large carrots, peeled
a little olive oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 pinches smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rip off a nice-sized sheet of foil – you’re going to make a little carrot package out of this, so make sure there’s enough of it. Drizzle the middle with a teensy (1 tsp) bit of oil. Plonk the carrots on top and turn them a few times so they’re oiled all over. Sprinkle over the salt, then wrap it up tightly, rolling up the edges to form a nicely sealed bag. Place it into the oven and roast for about 45min – 1 hour. Check on it after 30 min to see how they’re going. You don’t want the carrots to brown!
Once they’re nice and soft when tested with a knife, take them out of the oven and let them cool in their tin bag. When they’re room temperature, grab a big jar or container and combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, soy and smoked paprika. Thinly slice the carrots at an angle and transfer them into the jar and close the lid. Give everything a nice shake and put it into the fridge. Leave it for at least half a day before garnishing your toast with it.
I love this the classical way with a shmear of cream cheese and a sprinkling of red onion and capers, but please, do whatever you want with it.