French Carrot Salad is a fresh, delicious salad with just a kiss of lemony mustard dressing. Fresh carrots, parsley and green onions combine for a light delicious salad you can make in about 15 minutes.
Imagine yourself dining al fresco in a French bistro. This gorgeous salad (salade de carottes râpées en Francaise) would be a star dish. And what's not to love?
It's a simple carrot salad recipe with everything you need at the grocery store. The sweet flavor of fresh carrots, herby parsley, just a touch of scallion tossed in, just the right amount of fresh tangy lemon juice and whole grain mustard dressing.
Using just a light dressing gives the French carrot salad recipe enough of the simple vinaigrette to add flavor without being heavy, either in flavor or volume so the carrots are not soggy. And of course this keeps the oil calories 'light' too.
What makes this skinny?
The simple salad only has three ingredients which are all vegetables. The vinaigrette recipe uses only 1 tablespoons of olive oil divided between 4 serving along with fresh lemon juice, whole grain Dijon mustard, one teaspoon of honey.
Raw carrots are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that support everything from great vision to immune function and digestive health. Guess what they don't do? Load you up with tons of calories (yay).
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Carrots. You'll need 1 pound of large carrots, peeled and grated with the grating disc of a food processor or a box grated (on medium holes). You can also use a julienne peeler as long as it doesn't made the carrot pieces too small.
Parsley. Use fresh parsley, either Italian flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley.
Old Style Mustard. You'll want to use a whole grain mustard. It's sometimes called Country Mustard too. My favorite version is made by Maille and is a French recipe called 'Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard'. You can find it in most grocery stores.
Lemon juice. Freshly squeeze the lemon juice for the best flavor. You'll need about half a medium lemon.
Salt. Use kosher salt or sea salt.
Black pepper. Always use freshly ground black pepper if possible. It makes a wonderful addition to any recipe.
How to make French Carrot Salad - Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Make the dressing
In a small bowl or jar (with lid) combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together or if using a jar, seal the lid and shake to combine (photo 1).
STEP 2. Make the Salad
In a large bowl combine the grated carrots, chopped parsley and sliced scallions (photo 2). Drizzle on the dressing; toss to fully coat the ingredients (photo 3). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Use different color carrots. If you visit a Farmers Market you'll find a colorful assortment of carrots. Mix them up! Bright orange, pale yellow or dragon carrots if you are lucky (purple on the outside and yellow in the middle).
Swap in vinegar for the lemon juice. To change up the flavor try red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Grate the carrots yourself. I love a good shortcut but do not use store bought shredded carrots for this recipe. There are a few reasons why. 1) pre-shredded carrots are often dry and hard. 2) they are not the best shape for this recipe. 3) they taste weird. I think there is some type of preservative added that gives them a very distinct and not fresh flavor.
If using a box grater: use the medium size holes and grate in short strokes for the perfect length piece of carrot.
Allow the salad to sit before serving. Giving the salad about 30 minutes before serving really lets the flavors blend well.
Best served at room temperature. The French carrot salad has the most flavor when served at room temperature.
How to Store
The salad is best eaten the day it's made or the next day. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. The carrots may soften but will still taste great.
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