This is not quite your mother’s carrot salad!
Every holiday, mom made a little side salad of carrots. Sometimes, all it included was carrots, mayonnaise, a bit of sugar, salt, and pepper. Often, she would add dried cranberries or raisins, and sometimes cabbage as well.
A change here and there
I’ve changed her salad many ways over the years, but sometimes I still make the original because it is delicious, and it brings back memories!
This salad is definitely not the traditional, but the freshness and vibrant flavors are a great addition to a holiday plate that is weighed down with heavier foods. A little relief, both in texture and color, is a nice addition.
Save some for lunch!
This is a lovely salad to make as a side dish, and then use the leftovers as a lunch the next day! The flavors get even better after the rest. This was actually really delicious stuffed in a blue corn tortilla with a bit of salsa on top!
Feel free to change up the proportions of vegetables, or add and subtract another you like better. The radicchio adds a lovely bitter note, but if you don’t care for it, use purple cabbage instead.
Herbs lift the dish!
I stripped the last of the tarragon from my herb bed this week, and used as much fresh as possible while planning meals. The rest is hanging to dry for a week or so before it moves to its little container on my spice shelves. The herbs here can be swapped out as well, but the tarragon and dill combination do give the salad a unique flavor.
Carrot Salad with Caper and Herb Dressing
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 1 tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. capers, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. caper brine
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh dill (1 tsp. dried)
- 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon (1 tsp. dried)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions, sliced thinly
- 2 cups diced carrots, steamed just to tender
- 1 Daikon radish, diced
- 1 Watermelon radish, diced
- ½ head radicchio, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds or nuts of choice
Prep all your vegetables.
In a large bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, capers, brine, mustard, syrup, olive oil, dill, tarragon, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and let sit while you steam the carrots. This will take the sharp edge off the shallots.
Place carrots in a steamer basket. Bring water to boil and add the basket of carrots, cover tightly. Steam just until a knife easily goes through, they should be just cooked and not falling apart. Remove the basket and run under cold water to stop cooking. Shake off excess water.
In the large bowl of dressing, add the scallions (save a few to garnish the top), carrots, radishes, and radicchio. Mix well to combine with the dressing.
Place in a serving dish and top with the seeds and scallions.
Mom’s Carrot Salad
Carrot Salad: Grate four or five carrots fine. Mix with enough mayonnaise to get desired consistency, a little half and half to thin, and a teaspoon or so of sugar. You can add dried cranberries or raisins, and a little grated cabbage, purple is fun, and some nuts if you wish. You can also dress this up by adding half mayonnaise and half sour cream.
© Copyright 2020– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with active link and direction to this original post. The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.