This recipe was originally published on April 17, 2018.
French grated carrot salad is a widely popular side dish in France. Carrot salad in the U.S. is typically made with mayo and raisins, so it is refreshing to learn how the French make theirs. Trust me, once you try this French version, you won't want to go back to the American kind!
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What does this recipe taste like?
This tastes bright and slightly sweet, due to the zippy lemon mustard vinaigrette. This recipe uses fresh ingredients, and tastes light and refreshing. As you make this, keep tasting and adjusting the flavors to customize it to your tastebuds; add a bit more lemon, sugar, or salt as you like.
What is in carrot salad?
This is easy to throw together because it doesn't have a lot of ingredients. The basic recipe is made of the following components:
- Freshly grated carrots
- Vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, sugar and Dijon)
- Fresh chopped parsley
How many calories are in one serving?
For ½ cup serving, you'll consume 93 calories, so this is perfect for weight loss. This recipe is also high in vitamin A and C and is low in fat and carbs. For more nutritional information, please scroll past the recipe at the end of the post.
What is the secret?
The secret is finely grating the carrots yourself. Don't bother using the pre-grated carrots from the grocery store, because they are often dried out and are cut too thickly. Your goal is to use freshly grated carrots, since they will give off some juice and should be sweeter.
How do you shred carrots?
- Use a moulinex grater, if you have one. This is the traditional method used in France.
- Use the grater attachment to a Kitchenaid.
- Use a box grater.
- Use a food processor.
How do you prepare the carrots?
- Wash and peel the carrots.
- Cut off ½ inch from the top and bottom of each carrot to remove the green tops and the roots.
- Place the large end of the carrot on the smallest size holes of the box grater.
- Using a downward motion, grate the carrot, being careful not to cut your fingers.
- Eat or compost the carrot piece that is too small to grate.
How can I keep grated carrots fresh?
Grated carrots should keep up to one week in the fridge, as long as they are properly stored in an airtight container or a plastic zip top bag with the air squeezed out.
How long does this last?
Once it is made, it should last up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge, if it is placed in a container with a tight sealing lid.
Can I freeze this recipe?
The appeal of this recipe is it's freshness, so it's best not to freeze it. Freshly grated carrots are moist and sweet. If this was frozen and thawed, it would lose that fresh taste.
What do you serve with this?
This recipe is a versatile side dish, and like mashed potatoes, it goes with almost anything. Serve with a main meat, sandwich, or soup and you'll have a fantastic lunch or supper.
Can I make this for a crowd?
Since this is a forgiving recipe, so it's easy to make for a crowd. Remember the base is the freshly grated carrots, so you can grate the carrots the day ahead, then whisk up the vinaigrette and add the chopped parsley on the day of the event.
This recipe makes enough for 5 people to have ½ a cup serving size, so to scale this for a crowd, just multiply each ingredient by 5 and you'll end up with 12 ½ cups.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the salad and the vinaigrette. Juice the lemons, grate the carrots, and chop the parsley. Measure out the spices and the olive oil.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl for the vinaigrette. You'll need freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and sugar.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together until blended.
Add the lemon vinaigrette to the grated carrot mixture.
Stir in the vinaigrette until it is thoroughly mixed. If you prefer, you can use your hands instead of a spoon.
Add the chopped parsley.
To achieve the best carrot salad, adjust the seasonings as you go. Overall, the flavors are subtle, so be careful not to be heavy handed with the Dijon or the oil. For my this recipe, I added extra lemon juice, 2 tablespoons and a bit more sugar.
Toss to make sure everything is well mixed. For best flavor, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes then place in a serving bowl and enjoy!
- Don't want to use lemon juice? Replace it with the juice of one orange, champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
- Want other fresh herbs? Try thyme, dill, or oregano.
- Want to use a different sweetener? Try honey or maple syrup.
- Want to add another vegetable? Try shallots, spring onion, fennel or radish.
- Don't want to use olive oil? Use walnut oil instead.
- Want more substance? Add cooked white beans.
- Use room temperature lemons, as they are easier to squeeze and yield more juice.
- Spice tip: Add the salt a little at a time. Taste before serving, and adjust any spices as needed.
- Don't be tempted to buy the pre-grated carrots, since freshly grated carrots make this taste much better.
- Box Grater: this is the grater that we used.
- Set of 3 Whisks: these are our favorite whisks for whipping up dressings.
- Serving Spoons: this set of metal spoons is great for mixing and serving salads.
- Set of 6 Prep Bowls: we love these simple glass bowl for storing prepped ingredients.
Looking for other salad recipes? Here's some ones to try.
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French grated carrot salad is an easy recipe that is simple, healthy, and economical. This classic French side dish is both vegan and vegetarian friendly. Grated carrots and fresh parsley are tossed with a lemon vinaigrette to create a light refreshing salad that is also great for weight loss.
For the Salad
- 4 cups finely grated carrot, from 6 large carrots (444g)
- ¾ cup flatleaf parsley, chopped (25g)
For the Lemon Vinaigrette
- ½ cup lemon juice, from 4 room-temperature lemons (reserve 2 tablespoons; 120 ml)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar (reserve ¼ teaspoon for the end)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and peel 6 large carrots, then cut off their tops and ends. Finely grate them with a box grater to get 4 cups (444g), then place the grated carrot in a mixing bowl.
- Cut four room-temperature lemons in half, then squeeze their juice until you have ½ cup (120 ml). Reserve two tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice to use later.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar to make the lemon vinaigrette.
- Pour over the carrots and mix together with a spoon or toss with your hands. The carrot salad should be moist, but not overly juicy.
- Sprinkle on the fresh parsley and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. I added the reserved lemon juice and sugar at this step.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Check the seasonings before serving.
- Lemons are easier to squeeze and yield more juice if they are at room temperature.
- Adding the salt a little at a time then taste before serving. If necessary adjust any spices.
- Freshly grated carrots make this taste much better, so leave the pre-grated on the store shelf.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Grated
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: carrot salad recipes without mayonnaise, shaved carrot salad