This is not the place for in-depth social history, unless you take the view - as I do - that all food is social history, but I do need to provide a bit of provenance. Once upon a time there was Biba, an ill-lit but fabulous boutique, shoplifters' paradise, at the top of Kensington High Street. It moved, triumphantly, down the road to the old Derry and Tom's building, four or five huge floors of it, and on the fourth, or fifth, I can't remember, was its restaurant, the Rainbow Room, where my mother took me for treats when I was a child, while she kitted herself out in suede boots, maxi-coats and mini-dresses. This salad, or some approximation of it, was on its menu and my mother loved it and made her own version at home regularly. I do, too. Its ingredients list may sound odd, but this is a combination that not only works but becomes addictive. Don't be alarmed at the amount of vinegar: the astringency of the dressing, against the fulsome oiliness of the nuts and, in turn, nutty sweetness of the carrots, is the whole point.
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Recipe posted by Nigella