Smoky Carrot Lox Is the Bomb
If you read my reviews of the hot Plant Based restaurants in DC and Miami, you might have noticed that smoked carrot lox was featured on two of those menus. For the plant-based eater with nostalgic memories of bagels and lox, the smoky carrot is an elegant stand-in for salmon. For anyone who likes to eat, the smoky flavor and tender texture make for an appealing topping on a creamy spread, without mentioning salmon at all. I promise you, this is one of those veg preparations that just tastes smoky and salty and sweet and makes people happy, even if they haven’t a clue that it’s a vegan thing.
A Quick Method For Smoky Carrot Lox
Of course, the versions of smoky carrot lox at Fancy Radish and Vedge are undoubtedly made in a long, intensive process. They pack whole carrots in salt, let it cure, then smoke it with actual cool wood smoke, then sliver it and probably marinate it some more. The end result is incredible. For you, dear reader, I wanted to make a short-cut, quickie version. It’s not as classy, but it still works.
Instead of a slow cure and real smoke, we’ll use a quick steam, some liquid smoke and smoked salt, and a bake in a low oven. Instead of packing whole carrots in salt, I skipped ahead and made the shreds of carrot, then steamed them. That softens and moistens them so that they are ready for a quick marinade of smoky flavors, oil and lemon. It’s important to use good avocado oil, which gives the carrots the richness that smoked salmon lox has.
That’s all there is to it, this is so easy that you will be able to prep it for a party, or set yourself up for a the week with a tartine lunch or dinner. Cashew cheese is easy to make, if you just soak cashews and puree with a little water and lemon. Like carrot lox, you can do a much more involved version, but the simple way is very good, and more practical for your daily fare.
As lovely as it is to travel to eat at world class restaurants, we can’t all go. That’s why I like to travel, eat, then come up with my own versions of the delicacies I sample out in the world.
I hope Smoky Carrot Lox can become a regular meal prep item at your house. Eating more carrots is a good thing!
Smoky Carrot Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese Bagels
- 3 jumbo carrots
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
Cashew Cream Cheese
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 slices good whole grain bread toasted
- cashew cheese
- sliced cucumbers
- sliced red onions
- fresh dill weed
- Set up a steamer. Preheat the oven to 200 F. Use a peeler to peel the carrots, discarding the peels, then keep peeling to make long, thin shreds of carrot. Keep peeling until you just have a skinny carrot core, which you now get to eat. Continue with all the carrots, and place the shreds in the steamer.
- Steam the carrots for 10 minutes, until very tender. Transfer to a kitchen towel and blot dry, then transfer to a baking dish. Drizzle with avocado oil, liquid smoke, lemon juice and smoked salt, and toss thoroughly to coat.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the liquids are almost absorbed. Take out and cool.
- Drain the cashews and place them in a strong blender. Add the water and oil. Secure the lid and use the tamper, if you have one, and blend on high speed, tamping and scraping down often. When very smooth, add the lemon, nutritional yeast and salt and blend to mix well. Transfer to a small bowl and chill.
- Split and toast bagels, then spread with cashew cheese, top with carrot lox, cucumber slices, red onion, capers and dill. Serve immediately.