I’m generally not a carrot salad eater. I know, I know. But I love it so much, so I was feeling really guilty. So instead of continuing to live with my bad salad choices, I decided to create one I really loved. And it was SO hard. I mean, my requirements were pretty strict, but I was determined to find a carrot salad I’d love.
First, the carrots must be simmered in sweetened water. If you’ve never had a properly cooked carrot, you’re missing out. Boiling just won’t do. It makes them tough and watery. Simmering is the way to go. Second, there must be lots of chopped candied pecans. It’s just not a carrot salad with a little candy here and there. It needs to be very nutty, like most carrot salads.
My final requirement was that the dressing was to be super citrusy, with lots of fresh orange juice. I wanted to be able to get a big blast of citrus flavor, and I wanted the vinaigrette to be really light, not heavy like most carrot salads. I also wanted it to be a little sweet (not too sweet), and tangy, so I used orange juice and lime juice with extra zest. I also added a small amount of honey to balance all of the citrus. It’s a really great dressing for this carrot salad, and gives it a nice, light flavor.
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into thin coins
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- In a medium bowl, combine carrots, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Add chives, walnuts, blue cheese, raisins and cranberries to carrots. Toss to coat. Serve chilled.