08 March 2009

Carrot salad, French-style

Grated carrots in vinaigrette. What a treat! It's so simple.

Carrots grated, salted, and peppered

Grate three or four big carrots in the food processor — it's a lot easier and faster than grating them by hand.

A simple vinaigrette made with oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard

Make a vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, vinegar (wine or cider), oil (olive, canola, or a blend), and salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette into the grated carrots and mix. Let it macerate for an hour or so before eating.

Dressed carottes râpées, a French favorite

Serve the carrot salad on lettuce leaves. For a light, cold lunch, serve some cold cooked chicken or meat or a hard-boiled egg alongside. In season, add a wedge or two of fresh tomato. Or eat the salad as a starter course as part of a larger meal. It's good and good for you.


  1. Three other hors d'oeuvres that are unknown in the good US of A, green beans, leeks and lentils in vinaigrette. Too exotic?
    If leeks were not like telephone poles, I'd enjoy them. But I prepare sometimes green beans and lentils as well as carrots and celery root. The last one in remoulade sauce without too much of a success, as far as taste is concerned. Too bland.

  2. I remember enjoying that yummy grated carrot salad pretty frequently in France, especially when we were at "my" family's country place in Avallon, and Mme Lacombe's father would sit at the farmhouse table whipping up that vinaigrette... a pile of grated fresh-from-the-garden carrots in front of him. I think they usually used lemon juice instead of vinegar. Great memories :)

  3. Yum, this is one of my favorite salads. I think I've just switched this evening's salad menu from green to orange.

  4. Having grown up in a small town in South Carolina, this reminds me of my mom's carrot salad. She uses mayo, some sugar, raisins and a pinch of salt. It's delicious! May I ask what proportions you used for the vinger, Dijon mustard and oil? This sounds wonderful and I would like to make it. Thanks and I enjoy reading your and your partner's blog.

  5. Hello Calvin, I kind of know the version of carrot salad with mayo, raisins, and sugar, but that's not what I prefer.

    For the vinaigrette, put in a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a big tablespoon of vinegar (cider, wine, or distilled), and 5 or 6 tablepoons of vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste. The carrots are sweet enough and there's no need to add sugar.

    My mother was born in Rock Hill SC and we used to go visit family there when I was growing up.

  6. Carrot and raisin salad reminds me that 20 years ago, if you told an airline like QANTAS that you required vegetarian food, you would get carrot and raisin salad sandwiches, without fail. Yuk!


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