Let’s be honest: we’ve all been stuck in a side-dish rut. It’s easy to serve steamed vegetables over and over again, and even easier to bring the same potato or macaroni salad to every cookout we’re invited to. But getting creative with sides doesn’t even have to involve trying entirely new produce (though that’s great too!). The steady, stand-by carrot can be dressed up and reinvented with just a few minutes and a vegetable peeler.
How to make carrot ribbons
Carrot ribbons look fancy, but in reality, they’re exceedingly simple to make. All you have to do is wash your carrots, peel off the outside layer with a vegetable peeler, then just keep peeling as the carrot is sliced into thin, curly, bite-sized pieces. You will be left with a somewhat uneven-thickness carrot core (if you’re anything like me), but you can save those un-peelable scraps in the freezer for making vegetable stock or soups.
In this recipe, the finished carrot ribbons are soaked in acid to soften them up, then combined with crunchy almonds, salty feta, and plenty of black pepper to add a touch of bitterness and heat to the sweetness of the vegetables. Use this salad in place of coleslaw at a barbecue, or place it over a bed of greens (with a touch more dressing) to serve a complete appetizer. No matter how you plate it, I hope this light and fresh carrot ribbon salad gets you out of your side-dish comfort zone. Enjoy!
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Carrot Ribbon Salad with Feta and Almonds
This carrot salad makes an excellent sandwich filler, side dish, or component of a larger salad.
Makes: 2 servings
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons almonds, sliced or chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons feta cheese
- Allow the carrot ribbons to soak in a large mixing bowl with one tablespoon of lemon juice for at least ten minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Be generous with the salt and pepper, as carrots are relatively mild in flavor on their own.
- When the carrots are finished soaking, pour the oil-based dressing over the carrot ribbons. Add the feta and almonds and toss well, using your hands to combine.
- Top the salad with additional black pepper and serve.
Notes and Nutrition Information
This salad is best served fresh. You want the acid in the lemon to wilt the carrot ribbons slightly, but if the carrots sit too long in the dressing, they can get soggy.
I love this salad with simple proteins, like a marinated chicken breast.
Use rainbow carrots (if you can find them) for a truly stunning salad.
One half of this recipe as written contains approximately 282 calories, 20 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 342 milligrams of sodium.