|Copper Pennies, an old fashioned chilled carrot salad, made with thinly sliced carrots, sweet onion and sweet bell pepper, soaked in a sweet and sour vinegar marinade made with canned tomato soup.|
Copper Pennies Carrot SaladJust like pineapple, we southerners also love our sweet and sour dishes. From salads, to green beans, to pickles, that combination of flavor has long been a southern favorite and Copper Penny Carrots are another dish that falls into that category. Named so because they resemble pennies, it is a cold marinated salad of thinly sliced vegetables - carrots, sweet onion and sweet bell pepper - tossed and left to marinade in a hot, sweet and sour mixture of tomato, vinegar and seasonings. Also known as bronze pennies, they are as fabulous as a holiday side as they are at a barbecue, and perfect for the Easter table.
Even though they are loaded with flavor, they are super simple to make. You want the carrots to be fairly thin slices, though I don't like them paper thin so I cut them about 1/8 to 1/4-inch. Use a mandolin to make it an easy job. You'll also want to cook the carrots only to crisp-tender, but not mushy, so while you could use frozen and even canned, raw carrots shine best in this dish. I use the microwave, but you may also cook them any other way, including boiling them. Add a half of a Vidalia or other sweet onion, also thinly sliced. I prefer sweet onion, but use a stronger onion if you prefer, such as a purple onion.
Add half of a thinly sliced green bell pepper. Remove all of the ribs and slice the green pepper as thinly as you possibly can. Toss.
Heat the tomato soup marinade mixture to boiling, reduce and let simmer for about 5 minutes and pour the hot mixture over the vegetables.
Stir, cover and let it marinade in the refrigerator for 24 hours, removing and stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a serving dish and serve as a cold side salad. This salad will keep nicely in the marinade for several days, so you can make it ahead.
|Pictured with about a pound of carrots.|
Recipe: Copper Pennies Carrot Salad©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1 pound of raw carrots, peeled and sliced thin*
- 1/2 of a medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced very thin
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper, sliced very thin
- 1 can of condensed tomato soup
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Peel carrots, wash and cut them into thin rounds. You should have roughly 4 cups of sliced carrots. Place into a microwave safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook on high, about 7 minutes, or until crisp tender. Your microwave time may vary. Drain. Place into a medium to large glass bowl and top with the very thinly sliced sweet onion and bell pepper. Toss.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the tomato soup with all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture over the vegetable mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a serving dish and serve as a cold side salad.
*Cook's Note: Carrots may be boiled if you prefer, just remember you only want them crisp tender, not mushy. Onion and bell pepper may also be diced. This marinade can take up to two pounds of sliced carrots, without increasing the marinade ingredients. Use a whole medium sized Vidalia onion and a whole green bell pepper, both thinly sliced, if you use two pounds of carrots. Substitute a stronger flavored onion, if you prefer. Purple onion is especially colorful. Though it's not traditional to me, I am told many families serve this as a hot side dish.
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