Carrot salad (Salade de carottes rapees)

A grated carrot salad or salade de carottes rapees is a popular salad in France that is often made at home but is available in every bistro and market as well. It is quick to make, can be endlessly varied and goes with just about anything. Not to mention it is refreshingly delicious and good for you.

The carrot needs to be finely grated for the salad and mixed with a little chopped flat-leaf parsley or other soft herbs. It is then dressed simply with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and with Dijon mustard if you like. Carrots sometimes need a little sugar or honey added to bring out their natural sweetness. You can include sultanas or nuts in the salad as well.

For a lovely Moroccan version of carrot salad, add some sliced oranges and sprinkle with orange blossom water and cinnamon.

This is a great salad to keep in mind during the summer and in fact all year round. I always have carrots, lemons and parsley on hand and often make it for a quick lunch with bread and cheese. I recommend trying it with the Cake aux olives (French olive loaf).

Photography by Andrew Sikorski.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium (500g) carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp honey or sugar to taste
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sultanas, plumped in hot water (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts, slivered almond or pistachios (optional)

Method

  1. Peel and grate the carrot fairly finely in a food processor or by hand. Mix the grated carrot with the parsley and the sultanas (if using) in a salad bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, honey or sugar, salt and pepper and then whisk in the olive oil. I usually make a bit of extra dressing in case I need it.
  3. Pour the dressing over the grated carrots and toss. Add a little more dressing if you think it’s needed. Ideally allow the salad to marinate in the fridge for an hour or longer.
  4. If using the nuts, scatter them over the top at serving time. Serve the carrot salad cold. Leftovers will keep well until the next day.

 

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