Carrot Parsley Salad
Depending on where you are in the world, carrots are grown year-round. Although technically, they’re a cool-season crop since optimal growing temperatures range from 60º to 70ºF. So again, depending on where you are in the world, “carrot season” could be winter, spring, summer or fall.
I’m from Michigan, where springtime tends to fall right into that perfect 60º to 70ºF range, perfect for growing carrots. So, for me, there’s nothing that reminds me of spring & summer quite as much as carrot tops. I think it’s in the way that they just shoot through the soil like newly budding trees! So cute. So fresh. And, so very kelly green.
By the way, there’s definitely something to eating fruits and veggies that are in season
- Fruits and veggies that have had higher exposure to natural sunlight will also contain higher levels of antioxidants! In the case of carrots and carrot salad, we’re referring to the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A, which protects your eye’s photoreceptors and may even help restore issues with vision. Guess my parents totally hit the nail on the head whenever they insisted I eat carrots because they were ‘good for my eyes’! (1)
- They’re usually cleaner (i.e free-er of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives) because produce that is in season simply doesn’t need as much assistance in resisting spoilage as produce that is out of season. (2)
- The taste! You just can’t beat it. They’re always crisper, juicier, more brightly colored and smell amazing!
The odd thing is, for as much as I like carrots now, there was a beef between us up until very recently.
Now, I’m not one to have EVER been labeled a picky eater but I suppose I’m a bit finicky when it comes to carrots.
For whatever reason, I can’t stand to eat carrots when they’re cubed or sliced – especially not those weird, industrial looking, zigzaggy slices (you know…like the ones that come in the frozen veggie packs…). I also don’t like them cut into regular old rounds or even cubes. I know it’s bizarre but hey – we’ve all got our likes and dislikes I suppose. It’s not like I won’t eat them prepared that way, it’s just that on a mental level I’m always like “eew” when I got to put a piece in my mouth like that. Which, is totally not the reaction you want to be having to food, especially veggies as delicious, and health promoting and harmless as carrots!
How this all started, I’m not entirely sure
I think it’s because carrots are my Mom’s favorite food so she used to add them to normal lettucey salads with tomatoes and other ingredients that, in my opinion, just didn’t belong together in a salad. They always seemed clunky and out of place to me until I met a salad like this one with lovely Julienned threads of orange-gold carrot slices (by the way, click here
to check out the flippin’ awesome carrot peeler I use!).
As Emeril Lagasse (my childhood favorite TV Chef) would say, “BAM!”. That is how you kick it up a notch with carrots and carrot salad, for that matter. They’re just so elegant that way! It’s like, it changes the texture to pleasantly crunchy angel hair pasta instantly!
So, although I’m definitely not the authority on all things carrot related and there’s certainly nothing wrong with you if you like zigzaggy, cubed or round cut carrots, this carrot salad simply showcases how I like them best (plus, it’s super fun and appetizing for kiddos).
Let’s walk through the recipe.
Peel or julienne the carrots until you get a bowl full of those wispy, elegant, slightly crunchy, angel-hair-like pieces I was gushing over above.
By the way, steer clear of baby carrots.
“Baby carrots, which are now one of the most popular carrot forms, were not invented until 1986, when a California carrot farmer created them to save some of the broken and misshaped carrots in his harvest.(16) Baby carrots are not actually ‘baby’ carrots at all but rather are less-than-perfect carrots that have been shaved down to a smaller size. Not only are baby carrots more expensive than whole carrots, they’re also typically given a chlorine bath to prolong shelf life.
For this reason, I generally recommend purchasing whole carrots instead of baby carrots, and also recommend seeking to find organically grown varieties, as at one time carrots were part of the most heavily pesticide-laden produce list (although they have been removed in recent years).” (3)
Grate the ginger and toss it into the bowl with the carrots. I like to use this little handheld grater, but if you don’t have one you could always chop it by hand with a knife or toss it into a food processor to get the deed done super quick.
Give the parsley a rough chop
and toss it into the bowl with the carrots and ginger. Add in the remaining ingredients to bring it all together. Toss and toss until the spices, herbs, oils and juices are evenly distributed on evenly over the entire carrot salad.
And that is honestly all there is to it!
I think you’re going to really like the salad for many of the same reasons that I do, but especially because:
- it’s crunchy
- it feels kinda fancy
- it has a great balanced combo of sweet, slightly spiced and savory
- it tastes as fresh as buying groceries from the farmer’s market feels
- it’s a salad that literally doesn’t even look like a salad
I could go on and on, but then you’d never actually get to try it!
If you’re planning to make this…
I highly recommend you click here and check out the vegetable peeler that changed the way I cook, forever (no more julienning for hours…thank goodness!). It’ll save you a ton of time, it’s easy to clean my nieces love it, which means your kiddos probably will too.
Happy carrot salad-ing!
Carrot Parsley Salad
A simple and quick carrot salad packed with nutrients and flavor and, depending on how fast you chop and peel, can even be made in under 10 minutes.
- 1lb carrot, julienned or finely peeled
- 1 handful Parsley
- juice of 1/2 lemon (more if you like tart flavor a lot, like me!)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil , avocado oil , or organic toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp ginger
- salt (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Wash and julienne or peal the carrots (like I did) into thin, wispy pieces that look almost like noodles. When I use a peeler, there's always a little bit of carrot left. I save the carrots for juicing and/making carrot pudding later. Transfer your "carrot noodles" to a large bowl.
- Give the parsley a rough chop. Add your parsley to the bowl with carrot salad.
- Grate the fresh ginger and add to the bowl with carrot noddles and parsley.
- Pour in the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and toss the whole thing well before serving.
- This would go really nicely with crushed nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and even raw, grass-fed parmesan or feta mixed in as well. I think this salad pairs perfectly with seafood like cocktail shrimp and grilled or steamed fish.
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