Carrot and Sake Salad

October 22, 2015 13 Comments

Carrot and Sake Salad

I got my hands on Heidi Swanson’s gorgeous new book, Near and Far, back in September (like as soon as it came out), and I haven’t let go of it since. It follows me around…from the kitchen to the couch, up the stairs for some bedtime reading, and back down to the kitchen for breakfast. Near and Far is a collection of recipes that were inspired by Heidi’s home base in California as well as her recent travels to France, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and India, just like the title suggests.

Near and Far by Heidi Swanson |

Each chapter corresponds to a place and starts with a pantry list of Heidi’s favourite ingredients from that region. Using these ingredients as palette of sorts, she goes on to create dishes that are so unmistakably hers, regardless of the cuisine that inspired them, invoking a sense of curiosity that I rarely get from cookbooks these days…a little jaded, I guess ;)

I can keep on gushing, but maybe I’ll save some of my compliments for another time, as I’ll surely be cooking and sharing more recipes inspired by this incredible book. If you want to learn more, Heidi shared her journey of writing the cookbook on her blog, starting with notes on writing the proposal, then making the book, and finally flying to Hong Kong to see it printed (or made, as she later corrects).

Garden Carrots | http://fromthelandweliveon.comPicking just one recipe to share with you today wasn’t easy, but when I pulled out the last of our carrots…ding ding ding! We had a winner. The carrot and sake salad was what my fall-cooking dreams were made of, but as usual, I changed it up. A killer carb craving that naturally comes with a chilly mid-October, and not enough seeds in the pantry, I decided to cook up a pot of my favourite black rice and swap it in for half of the seeds, hoping for the best.

Carrot and Sake Salad from Near and Far |
I picked up a bottle of sake for the first time in my life, just to get that 1 Tbsp needed for the dressing. Since “sake” is in the title of the recipe, I assumed that it would be worth it, and it was. The dressing was really delicious – seriously lemony, with a hint of brown sugar sweetness, and some subtle, yet unusual flavours, that I assume came from that 1 Tbsp. of boozy goodness.

Carrot and Sake Salad from Near and Far |
Thank you, Heidi, for sharing your beautiful work with the world. Please pack me into your suitcase for your next trip, k? Tnx :)

Carrot and Sake Salad

Serving Size: 6 (or in my case, 2)

Adapted from Near and Far by Heidi Swanson


    Sake Lemon Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. fine-grained sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few drops of toasted sesame oil
  • Carrot Salad
  • 1 cup of seeds or nuts (I used mix of sunflower, pumpkin, and chopped hazelnuts)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8th tsp. fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 cup of cooked black "Forbidden" rice
  • 3/4 lb of carrots, thinly shaved
  • 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, smashed a bit, then chopped
  • 6-8 small spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
  • lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust. It should be sweet with a lemony bite. Set aside.
  3. Toss the nuts/seeds with the oil and salt and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes, until toasted, but watch them carefully, redistributing at around the 5 minute mark. Let them cool.
  4. When ready to serve, toss the cooked rice with carrots, cucumber, and most of the onions and nuts/seeds. Mix in 3/4 of the dressing. Serve with the remaining nuts/seeds/onions and lemon zest sprinkled on top and the remaining dressing on the side.
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  1. Reply

    janet @ the taste space

    October 23, 2015

    Love it, Sofia. I never would have thought to add sake to a dressing but sounds wonderful. I used to keep a bottle of sake in the fridge all the time for my Japanese recipes. I feel like I should revisit it with this recipe. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Reply


      October 23, 2015

      I never even thought about it as cooking ingredient before but I guess it’s like wine, right? Time to experiment with the rest of that bottle :)

  2. Reply


    October 23, 2015

    I preordered Near and Far so it was waiting on my doorstep the day it came out. I finally had time this week to open it up and check it out, and just like you say, it is an incredible book. I haven’t gotten to this recipe yet, but every one I’ve read so far looks amazing. I can’t wait to start cooking from it, and I’m excited to see what else you’ll share from it!

    • Reply


      October 23, 2015

      oooh let me know what you end up making and what your favourites are!

  3. Reply

    danielle is rooting the sun

    October 26, 2015

    such a beautiful rendition sofia – heidi’s book is a treasury of masterful culture appreciation. this is a lovely salad to choose for the making, and i think the addition of rice is delicious and not amiss. i have not used sake in this application, but it definitely has a flavor that cannot be mistaken. your photography is beautiful, hope your week is well. xo

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015

      Thank you so much, Danielle!

  4. Reply


    November 15, 2015

    This is such a beautiful site. Sake is something I’d like to learn more about. Sounds like I should buy a bottle and run with it. And eat this salad.

    • Reply


      November 16, 2015

      Thanks so much, Tiffany!

  5. Reply

    valentina | sweet kabocha

    December 4, 2015

    I received her book last week, but I haven’t had the time to really browse it yet and I didn’t noticed this recipe. Seems really gorgeous, as your photos are!

    • Reply


      December 5, 2015

      Thanks Valentina! It’s such a great book! Enjoy :)

  6. Reply

    Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    January 4, 2016

    My husband and I JUST discovered sake last week and we love it! I cannot wait to try out this salad. Pinning and making soon! :D

    • Reply


      January 9, 2016

      Yay! Thanks, Lauren :) Let me know how it turns out.