Summery Harissa Carrot Salad

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With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It’s light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

Plus, it gets better with the time it spends in its dressing, so you can keep it for several days in the fridge.

And my husband hates carrot salad, so it’s all for me. Sometimes I really benefit from his occasional food dislikes, because this is all I want to eat lately.

With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

The essence of this harissa carrot salad is all in the name. A combination of crisp, crunchy grated carrots with their inherent gentle sweetness coming up against the fiery yet tempered heat of the chili & bell pepper blend that give harissa its hue.

But then I go and dress all that goodness with a cumin and coriander scented olive oil dressing, redolent with barely cooked garlic, balanced with zingy lemon juice and zest. To finish things off, I add generous amounts of green onion, cilantro and mint. Then, the controversial kicker: golden raisins.

With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

I’m not really sure why dinky little raisins are such a divisive ingredient, but I love their little nuggets of sweetness here. Each bite has an element of surprise that way, especially coming up against the cumulative heat of the harissa.

I have no shame about inhaling this harissa carrot salad straight up from the fridge container, but it’s also delicious with an additional creamy element as I’ve shown in the photos here.

You can pile it atop a swirly swoosh of my Beanless Hummus or slice up an avocado and throw that into the mix. The toasty pistachios are a lovely final sprinkle, too, if you’re so inclined!

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Summery Harissa Carrot Salad

With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It’s light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

  • Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
  • Yield: Makes about 4 cups / 640 g / 1 qt 1x
  • Category: salads, sides
  • Method: no cook, raw
Scale

Ingredients

For the harissa carrot salad:

  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680 g rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp / 45 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp / 10 ml honey
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled & microplaned or minced finely
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp coarse ground pepper
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml spicy harissa sauce, I love & used Mina Spicy Harissa Sauce
  • 3 tbsp / 30 g golden raisins
  • 4 green onions, sliced finely
  • 1/4 cup / 20 g cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup / 20 g mint, chopped finely

Optional, to serve:

  • a swoosh of hummus beneath, I used my Beanless Hummus
  • sliced avocado
  • sprinkle of toasted pistachios

Instructions

GRATE: Scrub the carrots clean and pat them dry, then grate them coarsely in the food processor. Transfer the grated carrot to a mixing bowl and toss with the sea salt.

SIZZLE: Measure and add the olive oil, honey, garlic, cumin, pepper and cinnamon to a small saucepan over low medium heat. Warm until the garlic starts to gently bubble in the oil and become fragrant but not brown, about a minute or so, then remove from the heat.

DRESS: Squeeze the lemon juice into the saucepan and stir to combine and cool down slightly. Add the harissa sauce and stir again. Pour the warm dressing over the carrots, add the golden raisins, green onions, cilantro & mint, then toss to combine.

MARINATE: Loosely cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours. This gives the salad time to fully absorb the dressing, crisp up and bring all the flavors together. Taste once chilled and season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

SERVE: This harissa carrot salad is delicious straight up, but if you’d like you can sprinkle with toasted pistachios and extra fresh herbs to garnish. It’s also delicious served on top of a swirl of my Beanless Hummus, or with sliced avocado for a lovely contrasting creaminess. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • The lemon juice and zest are the yield of one smallish lemon.
  • No need to really measure out the herbs, a generous handful each of cilantro and mint works just fine!
With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.
With summer comes my favorite make ahead harissa carrot salad! It's light & crisp, sweet & spicy, packed with fresh herbs, lemon zest & a hint of garlic.

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