Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #91

Some mini bagels, toasted; mini spice cookies; carrot lox; and a non-dairy cream cheese spread I made.

This is the inspiration for the recipe I used for carrot lox. I used apple cider vinegar rather than coconut and regular old iodized salt rather than coarse salt. And it was amazing. It does not taste like smoked salmon; to me, it still tastes like carrots, though a co-worker who tried it said it doesn't taste like carrots. She did say, however, that it is better than lox made from salmon, and she is an omnivore who has eaten a lot of lox in her life, so I haven't just experienced a change in tastes. It was pretty easy, too; the only real drawback is that you have to start two days ahead.

The Daiya cream cheese is actually good; I tried Trader Joe's and it disappointed me. If I can find some, I also want to try Kite Hill, but there are a lot of brands available, so I was pretty confident there would be at least one worth eating. I mixed the Daiya cream cheese with some chopped red onion and capers (this really just makes my usual sliced red onion and capers for a cream cheese and lox bagel more portable).

The non-dairy cream cheese costs a lot more than the dairy version, but carrot lox? Practically free compared to salmon. So. It evens out.

Carrot Lox
Serves: About 4-6

3 large carrots (don't peel or trim yet)
2 cups salt, plus more if needed to cover
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put a thick layer of salt (about half your salt) into a loaf pan. Wash the carrots and while they're still wet push into the salt, taking care not to let the carrots make direct contact with the pan. (You'll still have quite a thick layer of salt underneath.) This is easier to do if you tessellate the carrots. Add more salt to cover carrots completely.

Roast carrots for 90 minutes uncovered.

Remove carrots from oven. Dump the salt (now kind of  a giant salt crystal) into a large pan. Allow to cool until you can handle the salt rock thing.

Using a wooden spoon, carefully crack open the salt to reveal the carrots and gently remove them.

You can peel the carrots now but really you don't need to. Just make sure you don't have salt clinging to them.

In a bowl with a lid, mix oil, liquid smoke, and vinegar; set aside.

Slice the carrots thinly into uneven pieces. We're aiming for lox, not carrot coins.

Add carrots to the prepared marinade and stir gently to coat. Put in the fridge for two days to marinate. If they dry up in that time, add a little more oil.

Serve as you would regular old salmon lox, if you ate fish.


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