French carrot salad is so quick to put together, involves minimal ingredients, and tastes delicious. It’s a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Grated carrot with bright lemon vinaigrette is so simple but so flavorful. It makes a great addition to any spring or summer meal.
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This salad is known as salade de carottes râpées in French and is really popular in cafes and bistros. It’s served as a main course salad or with grilled meats, fish, or chicken. You can buy it by the kilo in charcuteries and supermarkets have it packed up ready to go for a quick lunch.
In France, the carrots are normally shredded very thinly. This can be achieved using a mouli rotary grater. A julienne peeler or a mandolin slicer would work too. For me, I have a box grater and that works fine!
Tips for making carrot salad
- Grate the fat end of the carrot first if using a box grater. This way you’re left with a very small piece at the end instead of a flat coin.
- When buying carrots make sure they’re not bendy. If they bend easily, they’re not as fresh and they’re also more difficult to grate.
- You can use a food processor to grate the carrot but in my experience, it doesn’t save much time. Food processors take so much longer to clean than simple box graters!
- The carrot salad should be moist but not swimming in dressing, so add the dressing gradually and stop when you think there’s enough.
Health benefits of carrot salad
French carrot salad doesn’t have any health benefits directly related to PCOS, however, it is generally a healthful food. Carrots have a high water content level which means they are good for weight loss. Additionally, carrots are high in vitamin A which is a fat-soluble vitamin. The olive oil in the dressing aids the absorption of vitamin A, while the lemon juice aids digestion.
- Raisins are a great addition to carrot salad. Both raisins and carrots are a little sweet and raisins provide a pleasant chewy contrast to the crunchy carrots.
- Add chickpeas for a little protein boost (personally, I would either add raisins or chickpeas, but not both).
- Walnuts or almonds work well in carrot salad. They can be either toasted or raw, in pieces or whole.
- A half teaspoon of curry powder in the lemon vinaigrette is a fun twist on the dish.
- If you’re not a fan of lemon juice, you can swap it out for white wine vinegar.
Carrot salad is great as part of a summer salad plate. Try it with a mixture of things such as falafel, garden salad with ranch dressing, pickled silverskin onions, olives, or a hard-boiled egg. It’s fun to mix and match different elements over the course of a few days. This salad keeps well covered in the fridge for 3 days so you have lots of time to experiment and see what you like to combine it with. It’s also great as a side for a BBQ or 30 Minute Pesto Butter Salmon.
French Carrot Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Box grater or food processor
- Jar to mix the dressing
- 1 lb carrots
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish
- Peel the carrots then grate them using a box grater or food processor.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to a jar. Place the lid on then shake to combine. Add enough to the grated carrot so it's coated evenly but not soaked in dressing. If you have any extra dressing, you can put the lid on the jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. It may require more salt or more lemon juice depending on the sweetness of the carrots.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.