Chez Piggy carrot salad

This is the first recipe I have made from The Chez Piggy Cookbook, despite the fact it will always be my favourite restaurant and I have had the book for years.

Chez Piggy was opened in 1979 in a refurbished limestone stable by Zal Yanovsky and his partner Rose Richardson. Both Zal, who was the co-founder and lead guitarist for The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Rose are gone now but the Kingston institution lives on. I started going there in 1988 when, as a grateful starving student, I won a $25 gift certificate in a raffle. I used it to buy dinner for L where, my courage bolstered (and, I have always assumed, her resistance lowered) by a nice bottle of wine, I proposed.

A few years after graduation, we returned to Kingston to work. I ended up working just a few doors down from Chez Piggy with a great group of colleagues who invited me to join their  long (very long) Friday lunches there. The courtyard terrace in summer is a wonderful place to eat. The filtered shade of the central locust tree, the grapevines that cover the fence and the high limestone walls lend an old-world air to the place. The food is very good, but that’s just part of what makes Chez Piggy a landmark.

Nowadays, we go back at least once a year to have lunch on the terrace. The locust tree and the grapevines are a little thicker around the middle (hey, who isn’t?), but everything else is much the same under the stewardship of Zal’s daughter Zoe.

It took me a while to open the cookbook I bought a few years ago on one of our visits because it’s hard to imagine eating Chez Piggy food out of context. But, Kingston is two hours away and I had a craving for the carrot salad that’s been on the menu since the beginning.  It’s one of my favourites and, although this turned out just like I remember it, it  is still best eaten with good friends in the filtered shade of a locust tree.

Carrot salad

Adapted from The Chez Piggy Cookbook, compiled by Victoria Newbury

1 lb carrots, peeled and grated

3/4 cup chopped parsley

1 small red onion, finely diced

Scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the carrots, parsley and red onion. Whisk together lemon juice , olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and toss with the salad. Enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “Chez Piggy carrot salad

  1. I have a been making something similar and love just eating the first mix of carrot, parsley and lemon juice. Something about the juicy tangy carrot with the barbed parlsey. So simple but so good.
    But then I add a few other things, one of which is walnut oil, which I would recommend trying as an alternative. I will try with the red onion next time 🙂

  2. Ohhhh, I LOVE Chez Piggy as well. We use the book a lot in my house, but I’ve never tried the carrot salad (I quite like the caramel/nut tart). Now you’ve got me thinking about what wine would go nicely with that salad.

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