Maria’s Best Carrot Salad is an Italian salad made with fresh carrots boiled until they are tender to the bite, then tossed with a garlicky sweet-tangy vinaigrette. Served chilled or at room temperature, this carrot salad is simple, flavorful, and positively delicious! An easy side dish to serve any day of the week, our carrot salad it will get rid of all the notions of this so-called “boring” vegetable.
What makes this Carrot Salad so good?
- Fresh garlic along with one herb gives a distinctive but subtle favor, creating a reaction from everyone who tastes it, to ask, “what’s in this salad?”
- And the longer the carrot salad sits and marinates, the better the vinaigrette will infuse its flavors into the carrots making them taste AMAZING!!
Similar to our recipe for Green Beans and Carrot Salad, only this is made with one vegetable,fresh carrots.
We make this carrot salad all year long, and it is literally the best!
This happens to be our mom’s recipe and we think it’s the BEST Carrot Salad in the WORLD!!
We named it after her, Maria’s Best Carrot Salad because we know it is ideally a “healthy” salad to serve your entire family.
And once you try her recipe, there is no doubt in our minds, you will feel the same way as we do!
How To Make Maria’s Best Carrot Salad…
Depending on how many servings you will need, 1 (16-ounce) package of fresh organic carrots.
Peel and cut the carrots into 2 or 3-inch sticks, similar to the size of French fries.
The carrots are quickly boiled for a few minutes until al-dente and tender to the bite.
Then toss them with her simple vinaigrette, and set the carrot salad aside to marinate for a while.
Notes and Tips for Success!
It’s best to use fresh carrots. There’s nothing like using fresh vegetables.
If you are short on time, you can use frozen pre-cut carrots with this recipe. You will need to remember to “undercook them a little” and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
DO NOT over-cook the carrots (fresh or frozen), they will lose their flavor, become soggy, and they won’t taste good.
You can make this carrot salad up to 2 days ahead, then allow it to sit out on the counter for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
Keep in mind, the carrots will absorb most of the vinaigrette, therefore, it’s best to toss them and taste one last time before serving and adjust the seasonings, and maybe add in a little more vinegar and olive oil, if needed.
BEST served chilled or at room temperature.
Mom has been making this classic Neapolitan carrot salad forever, aka “Insalata di carrote” for as long as we can remember. She made it weekly for our Dad; it was his absolute favorite salad.
Now, every time we make it, we honor our Dad.
*Full recipe card below!
Ingredients you will need to make Maria’s Best Carrot Salad:
1 pound bag of fresh carrots, (about 10-12 small carrots)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
2 garlic cloves – minced
pinch of organic ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
What to serve with our mom’s carrot salad?
- London Broil Steak Grilled to Perfection!
- Best Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs
- Oven-Baked Brisket
- Chicken with Dijon Wine Cream Sauce
- Bake or Roast Branzino with Lemon
Maria’s Best Carrot Salad always brings a bright color, along with the refreshing taste of carrots to the table.
They’re neither bland nor boring. We bet your family will enjoy this salad as much as we do.
It’s a great recipe to use up some of your fresh carrots – with this salad! Plus, it’s a great way to get your family to eat more of them!
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Finally, if you love carrots, then try these…
- Carrot and Spinach Dip
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Carrot Soup with a Kick!
- Green Beans and Carrot Salad – Italian Style!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
- 1 pound bag of fresh carrots, (about 10-12 small carrots)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- pinch of organic ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Peel carrots and cut them 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 is tender to the bite. Do not overcook 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, and white balsamic vinegar, and 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 tasting 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
Keep in mind, the carrots will absorb most of the vinaigrette, therefore, it's best to toss them and taste one last time before serving and adjust the seasonings.
Then add additional vinegar and olive oil, if needed. The carrots should be moist, not dry.
Serve chillled or at room temperature.
Yield:6 to 8 servings
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 6.3gCarbohydrates: 5.9gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 2.8gProtein: .5g