Carrot salad with citrus dressing

Carrot salad with citrus dressing

carrot salad desaturated

Carrots and citrus seem to be quintessentially Spring ingredients. Since they also happen to go really well together, I made a simple yet very satisfying carrot salad with citrus dressing that will hopefully grace your tables at some point. This carrot salad is easy to make yet vibrant and flavourful. It brings a dose of colour and freshness to any meal and does really well when made in advance too (we had photoshoot leftovers for dinner the day after and they were still delicious).

This carrot salad features thinly julienned carrots, a generous amount of fresh herbs (I love it with coriander but mint and parsley work rather well too), a couple of spring onions, a handful of dried cranberries for sweetness and pistachios for crunch. I also added a smattering of vegan feta, which adds a bit of creaminess and saltiness. While vegan feta is a nice addition, it’s totally optional as there is so much going on flavour and texture wise already that you can safely skip it..

The dressing is a simple vinaigrette style made from extra virgin olive oil, orange and lemon juice plus some freshly toasted and crushed whole spices, which add disproportionate amount of flavour given how little effort they require.

I like to have this salad alongside some plain hummus and a few pieces of bread for a light lunch, but if you wanted to make it into a more substantial meal on its own, you can do that too. There are a few ways to go about it but I would personally add some cooked quinoa (or couscous if you are not gluten-free), a couple of cans of chickpeas and double the dressing amount to make it into a more satiating, stand-alone meal.


carrot salad citrus dressing ingredients

CARROTS: This is a carrot salad so good carrots are a must, make sure they are fresh and crunchy, but even if they are a little old this salad is a perfect way to breathe new life into them. My recommendation is to cut them thinly for the best texture using whatever equipment you have. I used a vegetable mandoline with a julienne attachment to produce evenly sized matchsticks.

ORANGE: I used the juice of a whole orange to plump up the cranberries first and then added this cranberry infused orange juice to the dressing to sweeten it a touch and to balance the tartness of lemon juice.

LEMON: I used lemon juice to add some sour notes to the dressing and lemon zest to amplify lemon flavour, which works so well against the sweetness of carrots and cranberries.

OLIVE OIL: I recommend extra virgin olive oil for the dressing, but if you don’t have it it’s not the end of the world either.

HERBS: You can use a selection of herbs in this salad as they all work beautifully. Coriander and carrots is a classic combo and probably my favourite, but mint and parsley (together or separately) work really nicely too.

SPRING ONIONS/SCALLIONS: Thinly sliced spring onions/scallions add a little savouriness to this salad without being overpowering. You could skip them if you are not overly keen on oniony flavour in your salads.

WHOLE SPICES: I used freshly toasted whole coriander, cumin and fennel seeds to add a bit more flavour to the dressing. You can use ground spices too but freshly toasted and ground spices have so much more aroma and require very little effort so I would recommend using whole spices instead of ground if you can.

CRANBERRIES: I added dried cranberries rehydrated in orange juice to this salad and they add delicious pops of sweetness to this salad. You could use raisins or sultanas too if you would rather (I would chop them smaller if they are large) but cranberries, which are both sweet and sour are my favourite here.

PISTACHIOS: Every good salad needs a satisfying crunch in my opinion and while you’ll get plenty of that from the carrots themselves, a bit of sturdier crunch from nuts is hard to beat. I used pistachios as they mesh so well with the other flavours in this salad, but almonds or hazelnuts would also work nicely, or pumpkin seeds if nuts are off the table for you.

VEGAN FETA: I topped my salad with a small amount of crumbled vegan feta by Violife. I like this addition but as this salad has a lot going on already, you can safely skip it too.

carrot salad whole spices

Toast whole spices on a small frying pan gently, just until fragrant. Let them cool off, then grind them in a pestle & mortar until finely ground. Add them to the dressing.

carrot salad dressing

Make a quick dressing by emulsifying olive oil with lemon juice and cranberry infused orange juice. Add lemon zest and ground spices for more flavour, season well.

carrot salad grated carrot

Cut carrots using whatever equipment you have to achieve fairly thin, uniform batons – I used a vegetable mandoline with a julienne attachment.

carrot salad closeup

carrot salad desaturated

carrot salad mixing

4 as a side
15 min
2 min
4 as a side
15 min
2 min
  • 1 orange, juice
  • 30 g / ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 400 g / 14 oz carrots
  • heaped ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 40 g / 1/3 cup shelled pistachios (or almonds)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, juice and zest
  • 20 g / 0.7 oz fresh coriander, mint or parsley*
  • 1-2 small spring onions / scallions
  • 50 g / 1.75 oz vegan feta-style cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Juice the orange and bring the juice to a gentle simmer in a small pot. Switch the heat off, mix in cranberries. Leave to infuse and soften.
  2. Shred carrots finely using whatever equipment you like to use. I used a vegetable mandoline with a julienne attachment.
  3. Toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds gently on a small frying pan. Once fragrant, take them off the heat and allow to cool. Crush finely in a pestle & mortar.
  4. Toast pistachios (or whatever nuts / seeds you are using) in the same pan, until lightly charred and fragrant. Cool and chop roughly.
  5. Whisk olive oil, 30 ml / 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and orange juice you soaked cranberries in (take them out and set aside) to sweeten in a small bowl. Add lemon zest and toasted seeds, season well. Add a dash of maple syrup (or something similar) if you like more sweetness. If you like a bit of heat, a small amount of harissa paste is also nice.
  6. Chop spring onion (I use 1 for subtle flavour) and herbs (leave a few leaves for decoration) really finely. I used a mixture of coriander and mint, but parsley also works nicely.
  7. Combine carrots, spring onions, herbs and softened cranberries and spring onions in a large mixing bowl. Stir the dressing through (you may not need all of it!). Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
  8. Arrange the salad on a platter, top with more herbs, crushed pistachios and crumbled feta if using.

*HERBS: mint and parsley or a combination of both works well too.

12 g
11 g
2 g
3 g
20 g
*per 1 out of 4 servings (without feta)
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