Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad

Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad
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This beautiful Sweet And Sour Carrot Salad is sure to impress and will forever change the way you look at the humble carrot. It will also simplify your entertaining as it is suitable for many people with specific dietary requirements, being gluten-free and vegan.

It contains roasted carrots which I toss in a Sicilian-style, agrodolce dressing. “Agrodolce” translates as “agro” meaning sour and “dolce” meaning sweet. Sweet and sour flavour combinations are popular throughout the world; there are versions in the USA, Asia and Europe. A little research has revealed that there is also dishes containing these flavours in Iran and Peru. This has caused me to ponder; are sweet and sour opposites? Or are they simply two different flavours? One thing is certain, these two contrasting flavours complement each other beautifully.

To make this salad, I begin by roasting the carrots. Without doubt, one of my favourite ways of preparing vegetables is to roast them. It brings out their sweetness, with the edges of the vegetables becoming slightly charred, adding depth of flavour.

I have sliced the carrots on a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline, there are several optional ways to slice them. You could use a vegetable peeler but I find there’s too much wastage that way. I suggest you use a very sharp knife, and either cut them thinly on the diagonal or cut them lengthways into thin batons. Some food processors have attachments for slicing, but the thickness of the slices tends to vary. To make it really simple, just cut thin rounds of carrot. The beautiful flavours of the salad will still be there, despite the shape of the carrot pieces.

After slicing the carrots, toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place them on a roasting tray and roast until they are tender and slightly charred.

Meanwhile, in a dry, non-stick frying pan, roast some pine nuts, being careful not to become distracted as they will burn the moment you turn your back. To make the dressing, use the same frying pan, wiping it out first with a piece of paper towel. Add some olive oil to the pan and fry some thinly sliced red onion. When the onion is tender, add the currants, sugar and white wine vinegar. Stir to combine and dissolve the sugar. That’s the dressing prepared.

When the carrots are tender, turn them into a shallow dish, add the dressing and gently toss them together. Just prior to serving, top the carrots with pine nuts, and mint if using. Allow the salad to sit for an hour or two for the flavours to develop.

This is an adaptable salad. I like to include mint with the carrots, but today I have divided the salad into one bowl with mint and one without as I’m aware that some people don’t like this herb. So, I encourage you to make it your own. Add a little chopped parsley if you like a touch of green, as I do. If you don’t care for currants, add sultanas/golden raisins or slightly sweetened, dried cranberries. In place of pine nuts, you could use toasted, flaked almonds.

And if you ever have any roasted carrots left over from a previous meal, this would be a great way to dress them up and serve them as a salad, using them as a completely different dish.

I do hope you will try this lovely salad, or one of our other Delicious Salad Recipes. Please let me know in the comments below if you do.

Xx Alex and Faye

5 from 37 votes
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Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad

This roasted carrot salad, with a sweet and sour dressing, takes the humble carrot to new heights. It is simply prepared and makes an ideal side dish for poultry, fish or meat. It would be a great addition to your festive menu, being a perfect accompaniment to turkey or ham. The sweet flavours of roasted carrot are heightened by the addition of currants and complemented by earthy pine nuts and the tartness of white wine vinegar.  

Course Appetizer, Entree, Salad, Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine Italian
Keyword agrodolce, carrot, carrot salad, delicious, easy, gluten free, salad, simple, sweet and sour, vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 222 kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 500 g carrots washed and peeled, tops trimmed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin, divided *
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar *
  • 2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar *
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • sea salt * and black pepper to taste
  • fresh mint, finely sliced optional

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 Degrees C (400 F).

  2. Using a mandoline, slice the carrots in long, thin strips.*

  3. Place in a medium-sized bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil & season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Place onto a baking tray which is lined with non-stick baking paper.

    Bake for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice until the carrot is tender and the edges are slightly charred.

  5. Place the carrot in a shallow dish.

  6. Meanwhile, place the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and toss or stir them until they are golden brown. I immediately turn them into a small bowl to stop them toasting further in the remaining heat.

    Wipe the frying pan with a piece of paper towel.

  7. Using the same frying pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the thinly sliced red onion.

    Cook the onion over low-medium heat until it has softened.

  8. Add the white wine vinegar, sugar and currants to the frying pan. Turn off the heat and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.*

    Do not leave the dressing to simmer; the vinegar will reduce too much.

  9. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss gently to combine.

    Check to see if the salad requires more seasoning.

    Stand for 2 hours if possible to allow the flavours to develop.

    Before serving, top the salad with the toasted pine nuts and mint if using.

Recipe Notes

*It goes without saying, a mandoline is a dangerous piece of kitchen equipment. Please exercise great care if using one.
*If you don’t have a mandoline, see the alternative slicing methods in the text above.
*I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil; it has a superior flavour.
*For best flavour, I always use sea salt. My preference is for Maldon sea salt flakes.
*Add a little more white wine vinegar if you prefer a sharper dressing. I taste the dressing before I add it, being mindful that the carrots will be carrying some oil.
*I use caster/superfine sugar as the finer granules dissolve more readily than regular sugar.
*I love the flavour of mint, but I am aware that not everyone feels that way. Serve the carrots plain, or, for a touch of green, some finely chopped parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 87mg4%
Potassium 496mg14%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 20880IU418%
Vitamin C 7.8mg9%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad


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250 Comments on “Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad”

  1. I’m always interesting in finding new foods to eat, especially salads, because I get so bored of eating the same thing all the time. I’m definitely going to have to try this because I love carrots!!

  2. Great & healthy recipe! Thanks for sharing. I’m adding it to my list. BTW- your blog is beautiful!

  3. Ooooo!! I never thought of being creative with my carrots. Sweet and sour sounds lovely! I’ll have to give it try!

  4. 5 stars
    What a unique salad! It looks like the perfect light precursor for any season. We need to shake up our meals a bit at home.

  5. 5 stars
    This looks like a tasty salad. I’ve always been a fan of carrots. I’ll try this for lunch one day.

  6. 5 stars
    This looks so yummy!! I love agrodolce dishes! In Spanish is “agri-dulce”, agrio = sour + dulce = sweet, really similar to that term. I need to try this recipe. Carrot has a lot of benefits and it’s perfect for a healthy diet.

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  7. 5 stars
    Love this type of salad. Even kids should eat this type of food if they are afraid of eating raw salad. I would actually eat it during my weekend.It does look tasty. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. This seriously looks amazing! I love that it is made of all healthy fresh ingredients too 🙂 I will have to share this one with my sister who is plant based… she will love it!

  9. 5 stars
    What a deliciously unique way to serve carrots – I would never have thought to combine carrots and a sweet and sour flavour! I definitely need to give this dish a try!

  10. This is such a pretty recipe and sounds delicious, too! I love dressing up veggies in new and interesting ways. Can’t wait to try!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe sounds amazing and I love the photo tutorials. Definitely giving this a try! Thanks love!

  12. 5 stars
    I tried this sweet and sour carrot salad with a chicken dinner last night and it was so delicious!

  13. Beautiful salad! This will be sure to make my Italian aunts happy next time we have dinner! Thanks for sharing

  14. 5 stars
    I have never heard of a sweet and sour carrot salad before but it looks tasty and sounds interesting. I can’t wait to try it.

  15. 5 stars
    Always keen to know more about vegan recipes and this looks perfect recipe vegan as well as healthy too. I am going to try this for sure may be tomorrow or day after tomorrow

  16. Yum! I can’t say I’ve ever had a salad like this one. But it really sounds delicious! Sweet & sour is such a great pair. 🙂

  17. What a bright and colorful side dish to make and serve. Carrots are good and healthy for us plus with the sweet and sour taste that is perfect.

  18. This salad looks absolutely delicious! I am definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  19. 5 stars
    This looks delicious. By the way, I love my veggie slicer. It sure does make recipes like this go much quicker!

  20. Oh, yum! This looks great and right up my alley. I’ve never heard of an agrodolce dressing, so that’s on my list of stuff to try 🙂

  21. I am not the biggest fan of carrots but this does look quite appetizing. Maybe I’ll give this a go and see if I like it!

    Thanks for sharing! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

  22. Hmmm this sounds something that I would like to have for dinner. Tonight I binged. So tomorrow, I will be on a diet. hehe

  23. Sweet and sour is always such a great combination of flavor! this salad looks so tasty! i will for sure make it at home!

  24. This recipe title intrigued me, so I had to visit the page to give it a closer look! I haven’t seen anything like this before. Looks good!

  25. 5 stars
    This sounds like an easy and interesting salad to try out. Looks like it would go perfect as a holiday side dish.

  26. I will have to pass on the Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad, although your recipe is very convincing. I am not fond of carrots as the star of the recipe. I wonder what I could substitute?

  27. 5 stars
    Wow this is something new for me. I used to semi-boil the carrots or eating them raw, but yours is different and I would love to try it!

  28. This is indeed different. We love carrots, and presenting it this way is certainly enticing even for kids.

  29. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! I haven’t come across a lot of recipes that features carrots as the main ingredient. And I love carrots!

  30. This sure is an interesting carrot recipe. I have always loved carrots but I have never tried them roasted. I prefer munching on its own or tossing it with other veggies for salads. I would love to try this out soon.

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  36. Sounds like a great salad for people who like carrots. I don’t, at all. They are the only vegetable that I don’t eat, no matter how its cooked.

  37. Oh my, this definitely looks amazing! This is something I will have to try this summer but I may experiment with cranberries, pomegranate or other dried fruit as I don’t think I can convince my daughter to eat carrots with currants.

  38. 5 stars
    Yummy! The carrot salad looks so delicious. I normally much carrots raw unless I cook them in stews. Haven’t thought of salad so I would love to try it too!

  39. This looks so savory and mouthwatering! I haven’t had a carrot salad, but I should make it asap.

  40. 5 stars
    This sounds incredible; I can’t wait to make it! I really love cooking with carrots, especially as a main ingredient, but I never know how to keep things new and interesting, and this sounds perfect!

  41. Loving everything but the currants – I hate raisins and currant in savoury food, it’s one of my very few food aversions. The rest of the flavours sound great though! Might try this without the currants 🙂

    1. The great thing is that you can customise it to suit yourself Annabel. You might like toasted, sliced almonds or roasted cashews. I do hope that you enjoy it. 🙂

  42. I really like this recipe. Its simple yet very delicious. Perfect for those who go for healthy foods.

  43. Ooh what a lovely combination! I’ve never had a carrot salad before as I imagined it would be quite bland but with the sweet and sour element it sounds amazing!

  44. Aa…this simple yet looks so good. I just bought a pack of carrots. I love carrot but sometimes I run out of idea what to do with carrots. Maybe I shall try out this recipe.

  45. 5 stars
    I’m not fond of eating carrots but I do it sometimes for health.. But it looks nice anyway.. ?

  46. I’m not really expert in cooking but I love anything sweet and sour. My favorite is the sweet and sour soup that my family would order whenever we eat at a chinese restaurant

  47. 5 stars
    That sounds really great, I love eating delicious and healthy foods.. I better try this recipe.

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