Savory Carrot Salad with Toasted Nuts and Fresh Oregano


I have a simple savory carrot salad already on this site, which I have gotten a lot of very good feedback from. It seems I am not the only one who finds savory carrot salads better than the oh-so-sweet versions. But I wanted to mix things up a little. This version contains a lot of other elements to add interest. Toasted nuts for flavor and texture, celery, again flavor and texture, and fresh herbs from my garden. I also used both balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. I find that if you use one or another, it can be to overpowering. The balsamic makes it too sweet, the red wine too tart, but together I find it the perfect combination. The result is a refreshing salad with crunch and a lot of flavor.

Have I mentioned that I have a small herb garden in my back yard? It didn’t work out to plant vegetables plants in the spring, but I decided I, at least, had to plant some herbs. I have thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, dill and lovage. But the one that has really caught my interest recently has been the oregano. I knew I liked oregano, because I liked it dried. But it’s so much nicer fresh. I have used it in many different recipes, but this is one of my favorite ways to use it. Tinned Tomatoes is having her monthly cooking challenge ( labeled No Croutons Required). This month the challenge is to share a vegetarian soup or salad that showcases your favorite herb. I think this carrot salad recipe showcase oregano’s fresh, robust flavor very well.

And, for those of you who didn’t know, today is the second part of the Nourishing Frugal Food Carnival, this week hosted by Stephanie. What I love about this salad is that it is a gourmet salad, whose base (carrots) is a cheap, but nourishing vegetable that is very satisfying. You can often get carrots even cheaper by asking for special bulk orders at stores. I also try to buy my nuts in bulk to get them cheaper. If you have an herb garden, the oregano isn’t even an extra expense. And who says that frugal, nourishing and gourmet food isn’t possible?

Savory Carrot Salad with Toasted Nuts and Fresh Oregano


6 carrots, washed, peeled and shredded
2 celery sticks, washed and very thinly sliced
3/4 cup of chopped toasted nuts (toasted in a heavy pan over medium high heat on the stove top just until lightly browned and the rich smell of nuts drifts up to you)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or more to taste!)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
1 -2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

1-In a nice bowl, put the shredded carrots, sliced celery, toasted nuts, and fresh oregano. Lightly toss together.

2-Combine the rest of the ingredients and whisk well. Pour over the other ingredients and toss until carrots are coated.

3-Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and oil and vinegar. Depending on how large your carrots are, you may need to drizzle a little more oil and vinegar on, so that they aren’t dry.

Serve right away, or chill.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home says

    Mmm, I think we might like this new version even better than the original! Now I want to go buy some nuts and try it!

    I’m excited week two of the carnival is here! I got so many great ideas last week, and I can’t wait to get more this week- so much fun!

  2. Lisa says

    Great recipe! It is really nice to find a salad that calls for fresh oregano. Oregano routinely tries to take over my herb garden and I really don’t have that many recipes that even ask me to use it. What’s more your recipe also sounds healthy and delicious.

    btw – I’m tagging you with the “Six Random Things About Me” meme. πŸ™‚

  3. Kimi Harris says

    Stephanie,

    I agree! I am looking forward to looking through everyone else’s entries.

    Lisa,
    Thanks. πŸ™‚ I didn’t realize that oregano was so aggressive! I just planted it this year, and I use it so much, it’s looking pretty small. LOL.

  4. jessica says

    you can also try lemon juice (instead of vinegar)on carrot salads with oil,salt and whatever herbs you want(fresh garlic too, my husband reccomends :)…the lemon isn’t as strong as the vinegar

  5. Sarah says

    Yum! Looks great! I LOVE savory carrot salads (can’t stand the sweet ones!) and may have to try this one of these days! Thanks!

    Best,
    Sarah

  6. Julie says

    This sounds so good! I’m going to try this salad this weekend! Do you mind sharing more about fresh oregano? I (blushing) have an enormous plant…but I don’t really know what to do with it. Is it too late once it has flowered?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      Oregano is great too, if you toss it, along with olive oil, salt and pepper on roasted potatoes – delish! I also use it after it flowers. It’s very hardy, which is great too, one plant will last for years!

  7. Kimi Harris says

    Jessica,
    I agree with your husband, garlic is great (not just in carrot salads, but everything!). It’s also true that lemon juice is less strong, but for some reason, I haven’t been as into it. I don’t know why. It just doesn’t seem to have as well developed flavor. BUT it is extremely good for you, so I wish I liked it more in salads!

    Julie,

    I hope you like the recipe. πŸ™‚ I have used oregano in many things. I like it in soups, especially vegetable “creamed” soup, I have used it with other herbs with a little bit of oil and garlic on top of baked chicken and that was very good as well. It’s also good in salad dressings. I am trying to think what else I have tried….If I think of any other ideas I will let you know.

    I do use my herbs like oregano after they have flowered with no problems, so I think you are okay. πŸ™‚

  8. Reeni says

    I and my whole family loved the first carrot salad. I will definitely have to make this one too. I’m always looking for good veggie recipes. This ones a keeper!

  9. Lauren says

    Wow! I can’t believe I hadn’t seen your blog before now. Just found you through Michele@FrugalGranola. Great recipes! I’m going to add you to my reader.

  10. Kimi Harris says

    Michele,
    You are so sweet, Thank you!

    Reeni,
    I’m so glad! I bet you will like this one too, if you liked the other version. πŸ™‚

    Lauren,
    Welcome! So glad you found me. πŸ™‚

  11. Anonymous says

    I made this tonight–it was DELICIOUS!!! I used 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds instead of 3/4 cup nuts. Thank you SO much for posting. I had been looking for a recipe like this after tasting something similiar at my local co-op grocery store/restaurant.
    Also, I was glad to read about being able to use oregano after it had flowered, because I was thinking I couldn’t also. And, I too am glad to have a recipe for my oregano.

  12. Kimi Harris says

    Anonymous,
    I am so glad that it turned out for you. πŸ™‚ Yum, I bet that sunflower seeds would be great in it. πŸ™‚

    Ricki,

    Thanks for the comment. Hope to “see you around” here often. πŸ™‚

  13. Kendra says

    I haven’t been able to come up with a homemade dressing yet that I liked until I tried this salad! I LOVE the texture combination of carrots, celery, and almonds, and the dressing is so awesome. I have used this salad on top of greens with some boiled eggs and it just adds so much flavor. πŸ™‚ Thank you!!!

  14. Betty says

    Hi Kim,

    How did you shred the carrots like that? I’ve never been able to do that. I do have a food processor but it shreds the carrots into little bits. Thanks so much. This looks great.

  15. Georgia says

    Hi there, I made this salad as a side for dinner tonight. I felt compelled to write a comment about it because it was AMAZING! My two daughters even ate it without too much drama. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! πŸ™‚

  16. Georgia says

    Hi there, I made this salad as a side for dinner tonight. I felt compelled to write a comment about it because it was AMAZING! My two daughters even ate it without too much drama. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! πŸ™‚

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