Growing up, I always found it funny how my mom made me eat carrots, but she was exempt from eating them because of a distaste she developed as a child. Perhaps my grandma made her eat those frozen, round, crinkle cut carrots that turn into rubbery coins when nuked in the microwave. Those are the worst. Thankfully, she never pulled that frozen carrot funny business on me. Our fridge was always stocked with raw baby carrots, and I learned to love them. Even today, they’re still my go-to snack (with a large tub of hummus on the side, of course).
But sometimes you need to buy regular-sized whole carrots if you’re making a big pot roast or these carrot cake quinoa bowls. And then, you swear you’ll peel and slice the remaining carrots for dipping, but you carry on with your baby carrot and hummus routine. And lo and behold, a few weeks later, you find a nearly full bag of whole carrots with sprouting tentacles in the back of the fridge. Tell me this happens to you too.
The solution to prevent carrot tentacle sproutage? Make this amazing Shredded Carrot and Wild Rice Salad! Your first step is to peel and grate the carrots. If you’re not in the mood to grate the old fashioned way, you can finely chop the carrots. Or better yet, use that fancy grater attachment on your food processor and cut the grating time in half! Once the carrots are grated, it’s time to layer on the texture with cooked wild rice, creamy and salty feta, golden raisins, toasted walnuts, and some chopped parsley for freshness.
And then, for the finale, we smother those ingredients with sweet and tangy harissa salad dressing. Harissa. Ever heard of it? It’s a blend of chili peppers, garlic, and spices made into a sauce, commonly used in Morrocan and Middle Eastern dishes. Sounds super exotic and totally not something you’d ever get your hands on at a regular grocery store. But guess what? I found a jar at Target! Harissa is so versatile too. After making the salad dressing, use it as a sandwich spread, a sauce for meat and veggies, or to add some zing to rice or couscous.
Now that we’ve found a unique way to use up those carrots and we’ve learned about harissa, I foresee a vibrant spring salad in your future that makes for a wonderful light lunch or side dish. Or, a lovely dish to share at a spring gathering like Mother’s Day Brunch…just not the one I’m planning to host for my mom (hehe).
- 8 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 ½ cup cooked wild rice
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup chopped and toasted walnuts
- 3 tablespoons harissa
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- In a large bowl combine the carrots, wild rice, raisins, feta, parsley, and walnuts.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients in a bowl. Just be sure to mince the garlic first.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Nutrition Information (per serving) from Caloriecount.about.com
Calories: 163 Fat: 7.3g Carb: 22.1g Fiber: 2.9g Protein: 4.6g Sugar 9.5g Sodium: 183mg
Krista, this sounds delicious and perfect to bring to a potluck but can I use a bag of shredded carrots or is there a real tradeoff in the flavor?
Hi Rhonda. If possible, I’d recommend shredding whole carrots because they yield a slightly sweeter flavor and won’t dry out like shredded carrots in a bag tend to do. However, I totally understand the convenience factor of using bagged carrots, and in the end, there won’t be a significant difference in flavor or texture! Thanks for the comment!
I have never heard of “harissa”. Where do I look for it in the grocery store, or is there anything I can substitute if I can’t find it?
I typically find it in the Ethnic food section of the grocery store. I’ve found it at both Super Target and Trader Joe’s. Amazon sells it too. Any type of chili-based hot sauce would be a good substitute…Thai chili garlic sauce would be a good option.
This is an incredible salad, I’ve already made it (at least) four times this summer. When I bring to an event people rave about how delicious it is and ask for the recipe. I started making my own harissa so I have more control over how much heat is added to the salad from the dressing. Thank you so very much for this delicious recipe.