Salads and Sides/ Vegetable Sides/ Vegetarian Recipes

Maria’s Best Carrot Salad

Maria's Best Carrot Salad, by

Mom’s Best Carrot Salad is an easy healthy one made with fresh carrots that are cooked with a quick boil until they are perfectly tender to bite, then tossed with a sweet vinaigrette made with fresh garlic, oregano, extra-virgin olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar. These ingredients make a vibrant and delicious carrot salad with texture, enticing flavors and gets rid of all the notions of the so-called “boring” vegetable.

The garlic and oregano give a distinctive but subtle favor, creating a reaction to ask-” What’s in this salad?” And the longer the carrot salad sits, the more the vinaigrette will infuse its flavors into the carrots themselves making them taste AMAZING!!

I have been making this carrot salad all year long, and even though we posted this one years ago, I finally got around to taking new photos, giving it a fresh look.  I felt I had to post this one again, since everyone’s been asking for the recipe.

This happens to be our mom’s recipe and we think it’s the best carrot salad is the world!  She puts her heart and soul into everything she makes. We even put her name on this one, Maria’s Best Carrot Salad, just because we know it’s always a huge hit at every gathering we bring it to.

We think this is a versatile dish to serve with practically anything.

Mom cuts her fresh carrots into sticks, similar to the size of French-fries.  The carrots are gently boiled until they are al-dente, tender to the bite.  Then she tosses them with her freshly homemade vinaigrette and sets her carrot salad aside to marinate for a while. You can make this carrot salad up to 2 days ahead, only need to set it out at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Mom has been making this classic Neapolitan carrot salad known as “insalata di carrote” as long as we can remember.  She used to make this salad weekly for Dad, it was his absolute favorite salad. Now, every time I make it, I think of him.

Her fresh carrot salad always brings a bright color, along with the refreshing taste of a carrots to the table. They’re neither bland nor boring.  Just a simple recipe to use your carrots in another salad as well as getting your family to eating more of them!

Enjoy!  …. and Thanks for stopping by!

Here’s a Tip: Mom always makes her salads using fresh carrots. However, if you are short for time, you can use frozen carrots, but you need to remember to under cook them because if you over cook them, they will lose their flavor, become soggy, and they won’t taste good.

Maria’s Best Carrot Salad

Peel carrots and cut into rectangular sticks, about 2 inches in length.  Place carrots in a medium pot of water, and bring water to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and boil the carrots for a few minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes, until the carrot are tender to the bite. Do not over cook the carrots, they should be crisp and tender.

Drain, and quickly blanch them in ice cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking.  Place the carrots into a colander and allow them to drain well.

Place them into your salad bowl or platter, drizzle with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, add fresh minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the carrots, until well combined.  Cover and set the salad aside at room temperature to marinate, at least one hour before serving.

Before serving them, I always recommend to taste the carrots once more, they may need a little extra olive oil and vinegar since the carrots will absorb some of the vinaigrette while it sits and marinates.
Best served cool or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8

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  • Reply
    denise and jack
    May 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Carrots never looked so good. I can't wait to make them. How about some fish recipe to go with them.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Hi Denise,
    Coming soon! I promise…Anna will post a shrimp dish this week and I will be posting my brother Danny's Basa Livornese…it is unbelievable…He made it the other night, and for someone like me who is not a real big fish eater…I LOVED it! so, watch out for it soon.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    The carrots sound delicious! Carrots are one of my favorite side dishes. I just posted how to cook butter beans, the carrots and butter beans would make a great side dish! 🙂


    • Reply
      March 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks Mike, the two as sides sound great! I will be over to see what's cooking by you later.
      Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    It's so nice to see a recipe that features carrots, they are so delicious all by themselves, and so healthy. I'd love to try this with the multicolored heirloom varieties.

    • Reply
      March 5, 2014 at 4:35 am

      Thanks Sue, it happens to be everyone's favorite every time we bring it to a gathering. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Carrot salad is delicious, healthy and refreshing and easy to make just prepare 15 minutes…

    • Reply
      March 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      HI Robin! Thank you for the lovely comment and welcome to our site! It's so nice to meet you! So glad you like our mom's recipe for the carrot salad. Hope to see you again! Have a nice weekend!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I love how you share your family recipes! This sounds so good and we are carrot lovers here.

    • Reply
      March 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks Sue, we have so many more to share, but life is so busy, we only wished we had more hours in the day to get to them. Glad you like this one! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    March 4, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Who doesn't love carrots when they come in a marinade like this?

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Yes I agree with you! Thanks Abbe for the lovely comment. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Your mom does sound adorable! This carrot salad sounds and looks so much better than one I made recently – and I just happen to have a bunch of carrots in the fridge (and about 8 inches of snow on the ground) Time to get back in the kitchen! Have a lovely weekend ladies.

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Wow, Tricia – eight inches of snow? Oh boy- I am with you, when there is snow, both my sister and I are back in the kitchen cooking up a storm! Thank you for the lovely compliment, have a great and hopefully a warmer weekend! xo

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Have never had carrots like this and it sounds wonderful! I'd love to try it.

    • Reply
      September 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Monica! This is super easy to make and we think you will enjoy this one as much as we do.,

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    April 8, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    I've got a carrot salad sitting in my fridge now…I can't wait to try your mom's salad. I've not cooked them before but I'm sure it helps the vinaigrette flavor the carrots.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Hi Karen! So glad to hear you re going to try out our mom's recipe. Let us know what your family thinks! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    A Neapolitan classic recipe (my mom would also make a similar eggplant salad)! She usually added a few flakes of spicy red pepper, which gives it an extra zing and combines well with carrot’s natural sweetness, red vinegar and oregano. Of course, no need for black pepper in this case. Grazie per aver raccolto tante deliziose e semplici ricette di casa nostra!

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