Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad

Do you pack a lunch for work? We’ve been in search of quick meals we can make the night before and we’re adding this to the list: Erin Pracy of Erin Made This shared her delicious carrot-and-feta recipe for our month of salads. It’s crunchy, tangy has a kick of cayenne. Here’s how to whip it up…

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad
by Erin Pracy of Erin Made This

The memory of Tartine Bakery‘s famous pickled carrot, which is served alongside their incredible sandwiches, stayed with me long after I left San Francisco. So, I decided to turn it into a salad that I could make at the drop of a hat.

It’s as simple as chopping carrots and then topping them with a tangy pickle dressing, feta and parsley. The vinegar/sugar/salt combo in the dressing is perfect for that quick pickle flavor, without months of preserving. Cayenne pepper packs a subtle punch, which you can adjust to your taste.

This salad is perfect to serve alongside Middle Eastern, Greek or Moroccan fare. It’s equally great on its own.

Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main

You’ll need:
5-6 large carrots
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Crumbled feta
1 sprig of parsley, roughly chopped

Combine salt, sugar, vinegar, cayenne and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Peel the carrots with a regular vegetable peeler, then use a julienne peeler to julienne the carrots. You could do this by hand, but I would avoid a grater — the carrot can end up limp and watery.

Toss the pickle mixture with the julienne carrot and set aside. (You could do this a day before for a really intense pickle flavor. Discard any liquid that has been drawn out and dressing left behind if you do this.)

Drizzle with olive oil and top with feta and parsley.

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Salad

Thank you so much, Erin!

P.S. More recipes, including warm brussels sprouts salad and the ultimate chopped salad.

(Photos and recipe by Erin Pracy. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)

  1. susan says...

    To the person who is putting in 1tsp of cayenne pepper and loving life–I salute you. I put in 1/2tsp and it was kind of burning my mouth and lips, but in an acceptably good way. I did put a pinch more feta in it to cool it off, and that helped. But it is GOOD! I’m looking forward to attacking leftovers tomorrow and seeing how the flavors develop. I love that it wasn’t overly fussy to pull off something delicious and healthy. Thank you!

  2. mmmm looks like super delicious. I love my salad time. Must make this on a weekday.

  3. Sara says...

    I made this salad for dinner last night. I didn’t want to drain the excess dressing, so I added a whole bunch of spring leaf lettuces and an avocado. I’ll make it again tonight with a poached egg. Great recipe! I’m loving this salad series, Joanna!

  4. Sadie says...

    We make something similar to this, based on a salad we got at a Russian deli that was labelled “Korean Salad,” but my Korean friends assure me is not Korean at all, although it is delicious! Now we refer to it as “Russian Korean Salad.” No feta, but lots of coriander–otherwise, pretty much the same recipe! (One thing– olive oil and coriander don’t play well together, in my experience, so we use some other mild-flavored oil).

  5. This looks like such a refreshing Lunch Idea! Can’t wait to try it out :-)

  6. I’ve seen something similar on smitten kitchen’s website, but I like the use of feta. And that peeler looks great. Pre shredded carrots are way more expensive and are usually rinsed in some sort of chemical to keep them fresher longer. I’m going to order one tonight!

  7. Sheila says...

    I love all of the recipes on your blog. So fresh and approachable. I wish there was a simple print button so that it could be formatted to print easily?


    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good idea, sheila! we will work on that.

  8. SC says...

    Thanks for linking to that peeler! Will try and make this for a friend who just had her second son. :()

  9. Jessica says...

    I do something similar with a Harissa dressing. I also add currants, golden raisins and chickpeas for meatiness.

  10. This sounds delicious! I’ve never been a salad person, but I’ve found that while a boring iceberg salad does nothing for me, other varieties can me great! I love the unexpected flavor profile of vinegar mixed with the feta, sounds delicious!


  11. Sounds good. I make something similar but without the feta. Feta is a good idea!

  12. We are also fans of preparing food the night before. So much easier! The brightness of this one is an additional bonus!

  13. Just added this to the menu! I wonder if some dried cranberries or cherries would be a nice addition…….

    • Lizzie says...

      i was thinking maybe raisins…

  14. Summer says...

    This looks SO good! I love leafless salads!

  15. I really like everything spicy and therefore I must try out this salad! Thanks for the recipe :)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  16. YuM! I need to cut back on my sugar-I wonder if the recipe really needs it or can I halve it or more? Thanks!