Simplest Carrot Salad

Kaki, this is my go-to salad these days, for a few reasons:

  • I almost always have some carrots on hand. They are such a great addition to so many recipes, and unlike many salad veggies, last for weeks in the fridge.
  • The dressing could not be easier, or tastier.  Also, it too lasts for weeks in the fridge.
  • Those two items are the only requirements; everything else is just extras.
  • Oh, also, healthy.  Oh, and vegan!  That’s why we had it for our “Yay, you’re visiting!” lunch!*

That’s right, shredded carrots and dressing. A wonderful pairing that’s most certainly greater than the sum of its parts. Some extras I’ve added in the past are:

  • Toasted sunflower seeds
  • Toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Feta cheese
  • Served over a bed of arugula or spinach

Raisins (golden or otherwise) and toasted nuts of any kind would also be great.  Oh, you know, so would chickpeas!  I’ll try that next!

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Simplest Carrot Salad

adapted from Dorie Greenspan

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Big pinch of salt (maybe 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1-2 medium carrots per person, peeled
  • 1/4 cup** pepitas (or other extras as listed above)

Into a jar or squeeze bottle with a tight-fitting lid (that is at least a pint or larger), pour all of the dressing ingredients.  Tightly close the lid, and shake the ingredients into submission until a smooth, thick vinaigrette forms.  Set aside.

Using the large holes of a box grater, or the shredding disc of a food processor, shred all of the carrots.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pepitas for several minutes, tossing them frequently to prevent burning. When the majority have some golden-brown spots instead of their original green, add them to the shredded carrots in the serving bowl.  Add any other extras to the serving bowl.

Toss the carrots and pepitas in the serving bowl until thoroughly combined.  Add dressing a little at a time, tossing after each addition, until it is dressed as you like.  I like mine to have a good coating, but to have hardly any dressing left in the bowl once the salad is served.

Keep the remaining dressing (you’ll likely have quite a bit) in the fridge for a month or two.  And add it to every salad you can.  Gosh, it’s so good!

Hope your week has been going well, Kaki!

–Caitlin

*The only other part of that lunch we haven’t talked about is that beer bread with jam.  Oh my word.  That Soberdough Pumpkin Spice mix that Holly got me, plus 1/3 cup applesauce instead of an egg, plus one blonde ale, plus a ribbon of peach jam… Wow.

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**Roughly a handful or so

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