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Hyper- Local UP Carrot Salad

Alex, our Upper Peninsula Local Food Coordinator spoke at the Northern Michigan University’s TedX in 2019 with a story called My Local Food Relationship. (Editor’s note: here’s the link)

During the presentation, she showed this carrot salad recipe which features ingredients from UP farms. Read her piece about what didn’t make it into her talk here.


1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
MSU North Farm31 miles away, Central UP
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced finely
Seeds & Spores Farm10.6 miles away, Central UP
• 3 carrots (one orange, one yellow, and one purple), prepared as follows
Virgin Earth Farm49 miles away, Central UP
2 Tablespoons rendered Pork Fat
Tickler Farm & Forest Products– 106 miles away, Central UP
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Danielson’s Sugarbush- 89.5 miles away, Western UP
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2,000 + miles
½ Cup Rice Vinegar
2,000 + miles
½ Cup Water
Lake Superior- 1 mile
1 Tbsp Honey
68.5 miles away, Western UP
• ¼ Cup Pitted, Organic Dates
2000+ miles
½ Lime
2000+ miles


For the carrots:

Orange Carrots – Mix ½ water, ½ cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey and two pinches of salt together. Peel and slice the orange carrots thinly into discs, then placing them directly into the pickle liquid.

Yellow Carrots – peel and cut into small triangles (approximately 1/4in in thickness)

Purple Carrots – after peeling off the first layer of skin, use the peeler to create long shavings of the fresh carrots for the salad.

For the rest of the salad:

Thinly slice the onions and add to your hot cast iron with 1 tablespoon of pork fat. Be sure to occasionally stir onions so they cook evenly.

When the onions are close to being fully caramelized (a rich carmely color, with the final product being a deep rich brown), add the yellow carrots you cut into triangles along with the remaining tablespoon of pork fat and minced garlic.

Give that 3-5 minutes. While waiting, roughly chop the dates and slice limes into wedges which you’ll garnish the final product with.

Finally, add the maple syrup and soy sauce to the pan with the caramelized onions, giving it a few last stirs. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl with the freshly shaved purple carrots. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the yellow carrots from the vinegar mixture and add them to your salad mixing bowl. Using a spoon or gloved hand, mix the ingredients well and then plate. Garnish with your chopped dates, and a side of lime wedge and enjoy!

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Watch Alex prepare this same salad during her TEDx NMU Talk by visiting this link.

Alex Palzewicz is the UP Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected]

Find more great recipes here.

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