Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, fresh springtime recipes are on our minds.
I wanted to make a salad that is filling, tasty, and refreshing, with vibrant colors to fit the season.
I love using carrots in salads because of their bright orange hue. But shredding them is one of my pet peeves, since this usually requires a lot of muscle and time.
Enter the julienne peeler. It is incredibly handy and does an amazingly quick job of making thin, noodle-like slices out of most vegetables.
Today’s salad is really as simple to make as it sounds.
We’re going to use carrots with a combination of sweet and chewy black and golden raisins for the base.
And for the dressing, nothing beats the creamy tang of a simple lemon aioli that can be whisked together in just minutes.
You don’t need a blender for this, just a normal whisk will do. We’ll also use fresh garlic to flavor the aioli, strained after whisking to retain its silky-smooth texture. If you want even more garlic flavor, we make a bold garlic aioli that you should definitely try!
After combining the fruit and veggies with the aioli, you’ll top it off with some fresh parsley for a final pop of color and flavor.
Perfect alongside a pork tenderloin, Easter ham, or a quick sandwich, this simple salad is sure to become a feature of your springtime menu.
Let’s head straight to the recipe and start some salad right now!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 –Prepare Your Mise en Place
First, get your ingredients ready.
Wash all of your produce well. Peel the carrots using your favorite vegetable peeler, and then use a julienne peeler to cut them into thin noodles.
Next, use a knife to cut the noodles into 3-inch-long pieces. Set aside.
Remove the stems from a handful of parsley, chop for garnish, and set aside.
Measure out the amount of raisins, garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil called for in the recipe.
Step 2 – Pound the Garlic
Peel the garlic cloves and pound them in a mortar and pestle until they are smashed into small pieces. A garlic press could also be used, but your goal here is to smash it well so the flavorful juices will be released.
Since you’re going to use the garlic to flavor your dressing and then strain out the pieces, this precious liquid is important to the flavor of your dish!
Step 3 – Make the Dressing
Place the smashed garlic, egg yolks, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl, and whisk together until combined.
While whisking, drizzle in the oil and continue to mix well for at least 30 seconds until you get a pale and frothy mixture. I used sunflower oil, but you can use any type of neutral-flavored oil such as canola or grapeseed.
Strain the aioli using a fine mesh sieve, to remove the garlic pieces.
Step 4 – Combine and Mix
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the salad.
Pour the dressing on top, and toss so all of the ingredients are well distributed.
To add a final finishing touch, sprinkle chopped parsley on top before serving. The parsley will give a nice contrast in color and taste, complemented well by the brightness of the lemon.
Springtime Salad is Served
Though this dish is perfect when those first shoots are springing from the earth and the trees are bursting with buds, part of its beauty is that all of the ingredients are available at any time of year.
So make a batch now, and keep it in mind for later – this is a great dish to have in your home recipe box whenever you’re craving the taste of spring.
For another colorful salad idea, try our recipe for a classic Greek salad. It’s full of fresh veggies, and a bright, herby dressing!
How do you like to enjoy a fresh carrot salad? Let us know in the comments below!
Savoring those healthy side dishes? We have more to share with you:
Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.