Carrot Salad. I grew up eating grated carrot salad at least twice a week.

The French dress it very lightly with vegetable oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper with chopped parsley.

A full meal from beginning to end. Grated raw carrot salad was somehow always part of the menu.

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Carrot Salad

Growing up in France, the school “cantine,” or cafeteria, lunch was a class of its own.

Served by themselves and never combined with other vegetables or greens.

I have to admit I am not a fan of carrots. You will never see me grab one, peel it and just bite into one.

It is just not my thing, I guess. I always considered carrots and rabbit food rather than people’s food. Was I ever wrong!!

However, one thing that I adore is this classic French recipe for a grated carrot salad.

Flavor and texture are key with this quick and easy salad.

In this Article

What makes this salad so special?

I always enjoyed the fresh and crisp bite of this dish. It all lays on the thickness or coarseness of how you grate the carrots. Silly, right? But that is where the secret lies.

But do not let it fool you. There is more to grating a carrot than most people think.

If you grate the carrots too coarsely,  it will take forever to chew them.

Grate them too thinly they will turn into mush, and you do not want that either.

Carrot Salad

You can go three ways here to make the perfect carrot salad:

  • Use your KitchenAid attachment with the finest shredding, and they are just perfect.
  • An old-fashioned stand-up box grater with a large  hole grate, which is getting harder and harder to find on our days.
  • And my all-time favorite, Vitamix food processor with the smallest #3 grate. Cut them 3 inches long for a more uniform shredding carrot.

I use my food processor at least once a week and I do not know what I would do without it.

If using the hand box grater, you may want to toss the core. Do not worry about the core if using the food processor.

Ingredients For This Carrot Salad Recipe

Carrots – Fresh work best here as they are the most flavorful.

Lemon juice – Gives a fabulous refreshing taste to your salad.

Olive Oil – A light olive oil that will not be overpowering with the lightness of this carrot salad is recommended. Some EVOOs are too heavy; however, I leave that to you.

Parsley – Optional, gives it a nice touch and color to your salad.

Cranberries – a handful or more, they add so much flavor.

Salt and Pepper – the only seasoning that you will need. Season as you go along.

Carrot Salad

My tips to a perfect French Carrot Salad

  • The lemon adds that perfect bite to it while balancing off the sweetness of the carrots.
  • Light flavorless oil is best with this recipe. Do not use strong extra virgin olive oil. It will alter the flavor and you will completely change the taste.
  • The chopped parsley brings out another bitter element that balances off nicely.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, that is pretty much all you need.
  • I decided to add cranberries to it. Quite delicious, I may add.

Variations and Substitutions

All the ingredients are pantry staples. Here are a couple of variations and substitutions to this dish.

  • Chopped pistachios are a fun addition. Make sure that they are not chopped too small.
  • Toasted pine nuts are another great alternative. Brings some crunchiness to it.
  • Raisins can replace cranberries. Adding the toasted pine nuts with the raisins adds some complexity to this dish.
  • Good French red wine vinegar will be a good substitute.
  • Instead of the lemon juice, you can use Dijon mustard. Start with a small amount and increase. Mustard can be powerful at times.

How to Serve them

Because of the juices I treat this carrot salad as I would any salads: I serve it on a side dish.

Small side dish to keep their sweet flavor separate from other ingredients on your plates.

A great side dish to any fish and poultry dinner.

Carrot Salad

During the warmer months, this salad will come on handy as it is very refreshing and does store well overnight.

And because there is no mayonnaise, you can keep it out as well and it will not turn on you.

Make extras as it will keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days, with great leftovers.

Benefits of eating carrots

Carrots are extremely nutritious and packed with nutrients that our body needs daily.

Potassium, vitamins A, K, and C, Beta-carotene, and antioxidants. Great for your heart as well as being good for your eyes. 

Although they do contain more natural sugar than any other vegetables.

Are you looking for other delicious recipes?

You may want to try making:

Roasted Carrots with Orange Brown Butter and Sage

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Mustard Dressing

Cream of Carrot Soup

And let’s not forget: carrot soup, glazed carrots, or honey glazed. A very versatile vegetable.

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Carrot Salad

5 from 21 votes
Carrot Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Refreshing salad rich in flavor and super easy to make

Ingredients 

  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • cranberries, a handful and optional
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Grate the carrots by pushing them lengthwise along the grater teeth. Or if you have a food processor use the finest shredder attachment. 
  • Toss the grated carrots with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, cranberries, salt, and pepper. Taste the carrots and adjust the seasoning according to your taste buds.

Notes

Variations and Substitutions
All the ingredients are pantry staples. Here are a couple of variations and substitutions to this dish.
  • Chopped pistachios are a fun addition. Make sure that they are not chopped too small.
  • Toasted pine nuts are another great alternative. Brings some crunchiness to it.
  • Raisins can replace cranberries. Adding the toasted pine nuts with the raisins adds complexity to this dish.
  • Good French red wine vinegar will be a good substitute.
  • Instead of the lemon juice, you can use Dijon mustard. Start with a small amount and increase. Mustard can be robust at times.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 10445IU | Vitamin C: 10.5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

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Carrot Salad

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