Take my word for it: You need to make this salad. How about tonight? And then again for friends this weekend?
This crazy-looking showstopper features carrots at their best. Caramelized roasted carrots combined with super thin rounds of raw carrots offer an intriguing, irresistible contrast of tender and crisp.
Topped with perfectly ripe avocado, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of my sunshine salad dressing, you end up with a salad that is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
This salad was inspired by the carrot and avocado salad at Corvino, one of my favorite restaurants in Kansas City. If you have also had the good fortune to enjoy that salad, you are probably obsessed with it like me.
Corvino’s salad features pine nuts, black lime, various mints, and two different sauces. The end result is totally epic, and I order it every time I’m there.
Their salad’s only downside is that it’s not easy to recreate at home. So, I came up with this salad. It’s not the same salad! It’s easy to make at home, though, and I am equally obsessed with it.
Salad Notes & Tips
Perfectly ripe avocado is key. Choose avocados that yield slightly to a gentle squeeze, but don’t have any mushy parts. If your avocados aren’t ripe enough yet, you can speed their ripening by storing them in a paper bag with a banana or apple for 1 to 3 days. If your avocados are just right but you aren’t making the salad the day you buy them, store them in the refrigerator to slow their ripening.
Soak the raw carrot rounds in ice water. This step makes the raw carrots delightfully crisp and cold. Don’t skip this!
Any fresh, leafy herbs will do. Cilantro is the least expensive, but dill, basil and mint are awesome, too. For extra-fresh flavor, use at least two different kinds.
Make the salad dressing in advance. This salad calls for my sunshine salad dressing, which is a yogurt-based honey-mustard dressing. You’ll have plenty of dressing left over for green salads. It’s so good! In fact, you could also roast the carrots in advance, if you’ll be making this salad in a hurry later on.
Please let me know how you like this salad in the comments! I hope to see this beauty on Instagram (please tag it #cookieandkate so I don’t miss it). I’m also eager to hear or see what you serve this salad with.
Love this salad? I think you’ll also enjoy my sunshine quinoa slaw, which features the same dressing and lots of fresh ingredients. Don’t miss this farmers’ market bowl, featuring roasted carrots and herbed yogurt sauce. Or my carrot-ginger salad dressing and colorful chopped salad that goes with it.
Roasted & Raw Carrot Salad with Avocado
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 side salads
- Category: Salad
This herbed carrot salad recipe is truly epic! Fresh herbs, ripe avocado, and honey-mustard dressing make this showstopper complete. Recipe yields 4 generous side salads or 6 small side salads.
- 2 pounds carrots, divided
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small ripe avocado
- 4 tablespoons sunshine salad dressing
- ⅓ cup chopped green onion
- ⅓ cup torn fresh leafy herbs (basil, mint, dill and/or cilantro)
- ¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt or ½ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- To prepare the carrots: First, peel all the carrots. Then, reserve 3 large carrots and set them aside. Slice the remaining carrots on the diagonal into pieces about ½″ thick and 1 ½″ long. On the baking sheet, toss the carrot pieces with enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Arrange them in a single layer and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until the carrots are tender and turning deeply golden on the edges.
- Meanwhile, slice the remaining 3 carrots into very thin rounds (about as thin as you possibly can; you should have about 1+ cup sliced). Place the carrot rounds in a bowl, and fill the rest of the bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes (this will make the carrots nice and crisp). Set the bowl aside.
- When the carrots are done roasting, arrange them across a large platter. Drain the carrot rounds well, and sprinkle them all over the roasted carrots.
- Halve the avocado(s) and remove the pit(s). Thinly slice half of the avocado and carefully scoop out the pieces with a large spoon. Arrange the slices in sections over the salad. Dice the rest of the avocado, scoop out the pieces and arrange them all over the salad.
- Drizzle the salad dressing lightly all over the salad by the tablespoon, then sprinkle the green onion and leafy herbs on top. Finish by sprinkle the salt, red pepper flakes (if using) and a few twists of black pepper on top. Serve promptly, as the avocado will brown over time.
Recipe inspired by Corvino’s Supper Club in Kansas City.
Make it dairy free/vegan: See the recipe notes on the sunshine salad dressing (except for the yogurt in the dressing, this salad is dairy free/vegan).
Storage notes: This salad is best consumed promptly, but you can toss the leftovers well (so the avocado is coated in dressing) and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out.