Carrot Salad with Caper and Herb Dressing

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.

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30 Comments Add yours

  1. Great winter nutritious and colorful salad! Love the use of all these root vegetables together. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! We are now firmly in the world of winter root vegetables, and so I celebrate their color and texture. I feel healthy just looking at this one!

      1. and rightly so! 🙂

  2. On Friday, November 20, 2020, The New Vintage Kitchen wrote:

    > Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen posted: ” 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 > sometime” >

  3. Love the dressing on this carrot salad.

    1. Thank you Jovina! The dressing is light but really flavorful and delicious. I’ve used it on a lot of other salads as well, and drizzled over steamed asparagus!

  4. Such a vibrant looking salad and herbs simply elevated the taste of carrots!!

    1. Thank you Deeksha! The herbs are really the star here, along with the luscious little capers!

      1. Indeed!!

  5. Sarah Davis says:

    You had me at capers!

    1. I know, I could eat them by the spoon…

  6. picpholio says:

    Sounds great !

    1. Thank you so much! It is both pretty and delicious!

  7. Sheryl says:

    The salad is breautiful. I like how it is easily adapted depending upon which ingredients are at hand.

    1. Thank you Sheryl! It is indeed a very flexible salad, and I can’t imagine any combination that wouldn’t be lovely and refreshing!

  8. Roz says:

    I love all of the ingredients in this salad and can’t wait to make it during the uber-fattening holiday season for a very welcome healthy recipe!
    Thanks for sharing Dorothy!
    Happy Holidays!
    Roz

    1. You’re welcome Roz! Everything on the Thanksgiving plate is so hearty, it is nice to have a little relief with a bite here and there of something fresh! Enjoy, and have a wonderful day.

  9. Awesome! Right on Holiday time!

  10. So much color. I love it. 😍🍃

    1. Thank you Gail! The feast begins with the eyes!

  11. This sounds wonderful, but I have to admit – so does your mom’s simpler version! What I really love about this is how colorful it is. It would make such a wonder presentation on a holiday table.

    1. Thanks Jeff! They are both delicious, and quite different. Sometimes I just need to have mom’s version!

  12. What an awesome Salad

    1. Thank you so much! We enjoyed it!

  13. What a beautiful salad Dorothy! A unique and colorful combination, it would star on a buffet!
    Jenna

    1. Thank you Jenna, it really is pretty, and tasty as well!

  14. Christy B says:

    I’m going to have to make this one!

    1. It’s so good, I hope you enjoy!

  15. Jenieva says:

    Nutritious and delicious!

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