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A bowl of luscious Turkish saffron salad graces the left side of the image. Boldly on the right, you see "TURKISH SAFFRON SALAD" with "10 almonds" and a charming almond illustration below. The background elegantly transitions from light pink to white.

Turkish Saffron Salad

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Summer is upon us, and we need salad options. Coleslaw’s all well and good, until you’re the 4th person to bring it to the pot luck. Tzatziki’s great—and healthier than a standard coleslaw, being based in yogurt rather than mayonnaise as most Western coleslaws are (Eastern European coleslaws, for example, more often use a vinaigrette), but today our tastebuds are traveling to Turkey for this gut-healthy, phytochemical-rich, delicious dish.

You will need

  • 12 oz carrots, cut into very thin batons (alternatively: use a peeler to peel it into super-thin strips)
  • 2 oz chopped nuts (pistachios are traditional, almonds are also used sometimes; many other nuts would work too e.g. walnuts, hazelnuts, etc; not peanuts though)
  • 2 cups kefir yogurt (if unavailable, substitute any 2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt; comparable plant yogurt is fine if you’re vegan; those healthy bacteria love plant yogurts as much as animal ones)
  • 1 bulb garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 pinch saffron, ground, then soaked in 1 tbsp warm water for a few hours
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking; ideally Extra Virgin, but at least Virgin

Method

(we suggest you read everything at least once before doing anything)

1) Put the olive oil and carrots into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring. You want to soften the carrots just a little and absorb the olive oil, without actually fully cooking the carrots; this will probably only take 2–3 minutes at most. Take it off the heat and transfer it to a bowl to cool.

When the mixture has cooled…

2) Add the kefir yogurt, garlic, chili flakes, and saffron water into the carrots, mixing thoroughly.

3) Add the chopped nuts as a garnish

(after mixing thoroughly, you will probably see more of the yogurt mixture and less of the carrots; that’s fine and correct))

Enjoy!

Want to learn more?

For those interested in some of the science of what we have going on today:

Take care!

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