carrot salad, balance, intuition

I made carrot salad the other day–one of my very favorites.


a variation on a French theme. something referred to, sometimes, as salade rapide. slow food whipped up quickly.

sometimes, it features raw beets as well as carrots (a glorious, jewel-toned variation). sometimes, it has pistachios (mine had walnuts, either addition has a toothsome richness that balances out a dish at once complex and simple; a few ingredients muddling the distinction between earthy and sweet).

it’s a wildly pleasant thing, carrot salad. mineral, crunchy and juicy, sharp with coarse black pepper and mustard vinaigrette, boasting of an entire bunch of parsley, whose verdant freshness balances out the root vegetables. (parsley just tastes green.)

carrot salad is a color story, too–a bright little bowl of winter & spring, roots & herbs, of contrast. it’s lovely that you can see the dish’s balance, just as you can taste it.

lately, balance has struck me as interdisciplinary, cross-sensory.

watched Antonioni’s Red Desert the other night, and found its colors suggestively mesh & viscerally collide with each scene’s mood, its ambling dialogue & piercing post-industrial sounds.
the film precariously balances quiet & loud, but mostly is a piece of remarkable visual storytelling–it is a moving painting.

also read this interview with David Lynch in AnOther magazine, in which he discusses the relationships between film & painting, or, for our purposes, between color & sound or taste or mood. between the visual & the aural, or the imaged & the imagined).


that’s the thing about balance, and the relationship between the sensory & the cerebral: these things have a way of wanting to be; and, perhaps more importantly, it’s not intellectual, but intuitive.

so, no recipe for carrot salad–one that’s set in stone doesn’t exist. you create the balance, by knowing your ingredients, by tasting and looking for something that’s a composed mess, a garble of winter & spring. no spelunking the philosophical depths of Antonioni. sometimes, you just let a thing of beauty and balance be.


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