Grated Carrot Salad with Avocado Recipe

As subscribers to the Chocolate & Zucchini newsletter already know, a French publisher has purchased the rights to my very-soon-to-be-published cookbook. And because the tone of writing is very personal, I’ve asked to translate my own words: the recipes themselves are taken care of by a pro, while I translate — and often rewrite — the stories that accompany them and structure the book.

I’m fortunate that my father is now a seasoned translator with plenty of tips to share, but this still represents roughly a month of full-time work, and since my publisher is shooting for a release in the fall, I have not an hour to squander.

I’ve come to depend on quick, tasty, and nutritious salads for my lunches, and I’ve developed an addiction to this carrot and avocado salad, which appears on my menu more frequently than I’d be willing to admit in a court of law.

So my workdays have been unusually intense for the past few weeks — did I mention that the delivery date of my second book is also looming closer by the minute? — and I’ve been sitting at my desk from breakfast till dinner with nary a break. I am not at all complaining, mind you: my desk is comfortable and I am enjoying the stimulating translation work, even if it is causing the seat of language in my brain to wobble a bit.

No. The reason why I’m telling you this is to explain how I’ve come to depend on quick, tasty, and nutritious salads for my lunches. And in particular, I’m afraid I’ve developed an addiction to this carrot and avocado salad, which appears on my menu more frequently than I’d be willing to admit in a court of law.

What can I say? The preparation is effortless (especially if you have a food processor with a grater attachment), you can make a couple of servings at a time and let the second one sit in the fridge until lunch the next day when it will taste even better, and it is so brightly flavored and satisfying that I have to reason with myself not to eat this at every. single. meal, lest I turn into a carrot. Or an avocado, I’m not sure which is worse.

In my defense, I never make this salad in exactly the same way: I use either lemon or orange juice, I throw in fresh herbs — especially cilantro — and shallots if I have them on hand, I use tofu or chicken or a soft-boiled egg depending on what the fridge has to offer, and on a couple of rejoicing occasions I’ve folded sprouted mustard seeds into the salad. But the basic structure, give or take the occasional riff, is outlined below.

Grated Carrot Salad with Avocado Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves 2. (Recipe can be doubled.)

Grated Carrot Salad with Avocado Recipe

Ingredients

  • One small ripe avocado, about 150 grams (5 1/3 ounces), diced
  • The juice of a lemon or an orange
  • A dash of balsamic vinegar or oxymel
  • Fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Tabasco sauce or similar (I use Bayou Red) or strong mustard, to taste
  • 4 medium carrots, about 450 grams (1 pound) total, peeled and grated
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) firm tofu or cooked chicken, diced
  • Toasted seeds -- sunflower, sesame, flax, or a mix thereof

Instructions

  1. Combine the avocado, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar in a medium salad bowl, and mash the avocado roughly with a fork. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce.
  2. Fold in the carrots and tofu, and stir until well combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to a day.
  4. Toss again before serving, adjust the seasoning, and sprinkle with liberal amounts of toasted seeds.
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  • http://leonine194.canalblog.com leonine19

    hmmm, bonne idée cette salade! je note!

  • http://lassiette2mimosa.canalblog.com/ mimosa

    excellente idée!!

  • http://dailyunadventures.com Katerina

    This looks great! I love grated carrot salad, it is my favorite way to eat carrots I think and I love your addition of avocado. I have made similar salads with curry powder and a bit of light yogourt.

  • http://www.mostlyeating.com Sophie

    Thanks for posting this Clotilde. These sorts of recipes are just fantastic when you’re busy! It also sounds ideal for a lunchbox to take to work. I nearly always have to make my lunch the night before so I was just wondering aloud if the avocado would stay green for a few hours or overnight with the lemon or orange juice in there. Have you tried making this in advance at all? Good luck with the deadlines!

  • Rachel

    Thanks for another nice lunch idea for someone (i.e. me) who is dead tired of sandwiches! I don’t think you need to worry about turning into a carrot though – I must confess to having developed an addiction to carottes rapees during my first stay in France and I can assure you my appearance never became remotely carrot-like. I can’t vouch for avocados, though… ;)

  • Kara

    I can’t wait for your book to be released – looking forward to it! Your website is my homepage and even if I don’t have time to read what is offered, I enjoy the colorful and delicious photos you post! Thank you.

  • http://www.maminaclaude.canalblog.com/ mamina

    Excellente idée.

  • http://www.estouest.blog.lemonde.fr est

    Very nice! I love avocado but usually have it with tuna, or tomatoes and cilantro. Next time I’ll try the avocado and carrot combination. Good luck for all your work! and congrats on the deal with marabout

  • http://www.ceresandbacchus.com Mary

    Pas de moutarde? I’m so surprised. One of the things that I eat first and often when I get to France is carrot salad, and it’s partially because of the way the mustard in France makes it taste. Even when I buy Maille or Amora here in the U.S., it’s not the same because the ingredients aren’t identical (I checked the labels). Sigh. In any case, the idea of carrots used as a base for a salade composée is a great one. Congratulations on the book! Translating is a very daunting task and I’m sure that it’s practically impossible to not re-write one’s own sentences and make additions and changes due to not only the passage of time (you may have decided on a different way of preparing something since you last looked at a recipe), but also the fact that the change of intended reader, anglophone to francophone, is also quite a big one.

  • http://esterkitchen.canalblog.com Ester

    Bravo pour cette excellente nouvelle et tout mon soutien pour la dernière ligne droite !

  • http://www.mostlyeating.com Sophie

    Oops, sorry, you did actually say that you’d tried making it the day before. Lunch it is then!

  • http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/ Dianka

    What a great and simple salad, I’ll definitely have to try it. Adding tofu sounds delicious. Good luck with wrapping up your first book, I can’t wait to buy it!

  • http://www.veggiefriendly.com.au kate

    I love the idea of the salad. I can already taste the fresh carrot against the creamy avocado flesh. Yum!

  • http://www.monikakorngut.com/main.htm Monika Korngut

    I love carrot salad. I didn’t have it in a long time but I do crave it. Good luck with all your work, I’m sure it will be wonderful as your writing style is so effortless and pleasant to read. Can’t wait to purchase your book.

  • Steve34

    I just came across this recipe this afternoon, it was posted on a different website. It sounds great and I will try it tommorow night. Any idea how long the salad will last.

  • Celine75

    Mmmh, ça a l’air délicieux ! Et l’ajout des graines (tournesol, sésame, lin : tout ce que j’aime !) est une idée géniale !

  • http://foodcookeat.blogspot.com Aude

    Chouette chouette et rechouette pour la version française (j’hésitais entre la version US et la version Uk mais par paresse j’attendrais quelques mois supplémentaires la version française)!!! Et en attendant bon courage!

  • http://foodblogga.blogspot.com Susan from Food “Blogga”

    It’s easy to see why you vary this lovely recipe each time. Carrots are so versatile and are complimented by so many different herbs. I just adore them.

  • http://www.badhomecooking.com Bad Home Cook

    Ooooh. Time for lunch. And wouldn’t you know it? I have carrots, avocado, lemons and tofu at the ready. I’ve also been sitting in my chair in front of the computer since breakfast, and my chair is not nearly as comfortable…
    Your book is coming out soon, no? Can’t wait to buy a copy!

  • http://scorpio-eccentricity.blogspot.com Scorpio

    The only thing that salad needs to be carrot-in-guacamole is a bit of very finely shredded onion. No wonder it’s great.

    :)

  • http://acoupleoftarts.blogspot.com/ Karen

    I happened to have all the ingredients at home and had this for dinner tonight. I threw in some dill and shallots as well. It was so tasty and beautiful too! Thanks for the recipe.

  • http://www.lindamathieu.com Linda Mathieu

    Is shredded carrot a recent addition-say in the last 10 years or so-to the French diet? I ask because an American friend of mine added it to a salad for her French husband and he insulted her use of it saying it was never used on salads. Would it surprise you to learn that he ended up wearing the salad?

  • Your papounet

    I am a living witness to the fact that shredded carrot has been part of the French diet for at least a handful of decades.
    In the case of the incident you relate, one should at least consider the possibility that it may have stemmed from something other than an unusual combination of ingredients… The shredded carrot may only have been an innocent catalyst. It is all the more surprising since there is a French saying : “Les carottes, ça rend aimable”… (the word “aimable” has no exact equivalent in English… )

  • gingerpale

    At my house, He-Who-Thinks-He-Hates-Carrots might miss out, but that means more for me ha ha.

  • topgrubs.com

    I tried this recipe the second time around using parsnips instead of carrots and it was still very tasty.

  • Lisa

    Can I ask a question about the second book? I dont know how someone can sample so many foods (I love the moblog so I see the photos of the kinds of things that you are tasting for the book) without gaining a ton of weight. What is the food writer’s secret? I guess the same is true for trying your own recipes. One of the primary reasons that I cook is that I love to eat too! If I had all these fabulous foods to try all the time I would soon not be the fairly svelte person that I am. Assuming that you havent gained 30 pounds this past year, how did you do it? Take only small bites of each thing? Spit the food out?

  • http://ParisBreakfasts.blogspot.com ParisBreakfasts

    For some reason carotte rapee tastes so much better in France. Even the ready-made boxes in the supermarket taste different.
    It must be our carrots are tasteless :(
    Assiette de crudites was a bistro standby for eons I think..now it’s harder to find in it’s original format of individual mounds of carotte rappe, betrave, concombre, celeri etc. \I’ve never seen carrot in a French salad verte..They’d have to change the name.

    Aimable and aimiable are not similar?

  • Donna Smith-Harrison

    I tried this today and added grated cucumber to the salad. Great combination, I think! I was out of chicken and tofu and thought I needed another flavor. It worked beautifully. I was also out of sunflower seeds, so I used toasted flax seeds, which gave the perfect nutty crunch on top.

    Merci Bien, Clotilde!

  • GarlicScapes

    I’m also wondering about the avocados turning brown over night.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Hoping for a ripe avocado tomorrow :).

  • TJ

    Sounds intriguing, except I’m allergic to avocado. i wonder what would be a good alternative to deliver the same texture and/or health punch?

  • http://topgrubs.com topgrub

    As far as the avocado turning brown, just leave it out until your ready to serve.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Sophie and GarlicScapes – Because the dressing of the salad contains a fair amount of lemon juice and vinegar, I’ve never had a problem with the avocado turning brown overnight.

    Linda – Grated carrot salads have been around forever, but the carrot element is generally featured as the main (or only) vegetable of the salad. It is seldom added to a salad of greens (except perhaps in supermarket salads, but that’s probably not what your friend had in mind).

    ParisBreakfasts – The French word “aimable” could be described as a mix of amiable, genial, and polite.

    TJ – The Cook’s Thesaurus has a few suggestions of substitutions for avocado.

  • http://kevinandpauline.blogspot.com Antipodéesse

    Hello Clotilde! I hope you enjoy my irreverent little tribute to your salad on my blog today:

    “I consoled myself at dinner by making a fantastically easy and original salad from The Lovely Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini. Grated carrots, diced chicken, mashed avocado, lemon juice, Tabasco, balsamic and – most importantly – TOASTED SESAME SEEDS! I died and went to heaven, then came back from the dead in order to spread the gospel. Holy Mother of God! I”m re-living the ecstasy right now, by doing little, sesame-flavoured burps at regular intervals. Until you follow my example, and treat yourself to little sesame-flavoured burps, your lives will simply be empty and grey…”

  • Salli

    Having only carrots, an avocado, cilantro and a lemon, and no hot sauce, I added smoked paprika. It was DELICIOUS. Thanks for the idea.

  • http://ParisBreakfasts.blogspot.com ParisBreakfasts

    Merci Clotilde – these words are similar since aimiable is Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin amīcābilis.
    Friendly and agreeable in disposition; good-natured and likable. Cordial; sociable; congenial
    Well your version of carotte rappee is very amiable than for sure!

  • http://play-with-food.blogspot.com Deborah Dowd

    I would never have thought of putting carrot and avocado together (which is why I blog-surf!) This sounds wonderful and I am addicted to anything with avocado. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Pieter Monné

    Really very tasty, fantastic

    I added some fresh goat’s cheese from a Dutch island in stead of chicken or tofu. The cheese is similar to the Portugese cheese one gets with an aperitive around Lisbon. Also some wallnut oil and Dijon mustard.

    Does anybody know a nice Puy lentil dish?

    Greetings,

    Pieter

  • Eva

    Dear Clotilde,

    First my compliments on your great blog. I recently started to read it and I love it!!! And I also loved this delicious salad. I’ve made some ajustments due to what’s in the fridge or cupboard but it was fantastic. Thank you and I will for sure be a regular visitor from now on!

    Eva

  • Celine75

    Juste une suggestion : si tu aimes l’association tournesol-lin-sésame, tu devrais apprécier les biscuits Crusty classiques de la marque PURAL (je les trouve dans les Naturalia) : ce sont des tranches croustillantes faites de farine de blé (ou d’épeautre) complète et de ces trois graines : j’en ai toujours un stock chez moi !

  • http://www.blueVicar.com blueVicar

    Looks great, but I wonder if the avocados darken if you leave it overnight in the fridge? I’m game to try it, though, as I love the ingredients.

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  • Jenne

    I just made this and used chickpeas since I didn’t have any tofu or chicken. It’s marinating in the fridge right now and I had to stop myself from just eating it right away, it’s so tasty.

  • http://www.mollykiely.com mollykiely

    I made this last night and sauteed the chicken with brown mustard seeds — it was delicious. I paired the salad with the sesame zucchini soup, served chilled; a lovely summer dinner.

    http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2004/01/soupe_de_courgette_au_sesame.php

    For Pieter, a Puy Lentil soup I like:

    http://viciousange.blogspot.com/2007/05/puy-lentil-soup.html

  • Kyla

    Hm, I’m sorry to say that I think I’m the only unsatisfied customer here. After all that grating–is there an easier way?–I wish the salad had come out better, but the citrus is too overpowering. I’m disheartened because I messed it up and I can’t figure out how to fix it.

  • Diana

    This is delicious! I made it today with tofu and pumpkin seeds, a touch of olive oil and a bit of cayenne instead of tabasco. It will undoubtedly become a staple with it’s very high yummy and SO healthy quotient. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Ilana

    I thought I was crazy for eating avocado salads nearly every single day, but now I’m dying to try this. I’d add tomatoes and finely diced apples…

  • szilvim

    Clotilde,

    Thank you for the mervallous tip, I love carotte rapée, but the way it is made in the foodstores became a bit boring, so this is a refreshment to my beloved salad.
    I put a bit of walnut oil and dried echalotte to it, which resulted a different taste but it is still just adorable!
    A big congratulation for your blog, it is interesting, complex, funny and very informative!! Since I live in Paris, everyday I read sg attracting on your blog I go there and taste right after work, or make myself at home,it is VERY helpful for a foreigner who is passionate about cuisine and food :)
    Thank you and keep writing, building, it is gorgeous!!

    P.s.:Not metnionning that I bought immediately your edible advantures ;)

  • Audrey Harris

    I just made this salad with what I had in the kitchen: a splash of soy sauce instead of vinegar, whole cumin seeds for flavor, the addition of a finely chopped red bell pepper, a small scoop of hummus and a small scoop of raw sunflower paste, and a tiny scoop of peanut butter. I added cubed fresh mozzerella and muenster cheese. Delicious on a bed of lettuce just picked from the garden.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lynn Kessel

    Just made this, having a lot of avocados (husband likes to “over” shop at Costco)….

    All I can say is “where has this salad been all my life?”

    FANTASTIC!!!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Happy to hear it, Lynn, thanks for reporting back!

  • Kathleen

    I add ginger to my grated carrot salad for a little zing – mixed with sprouts it makes a good filling for a pita sandwich.

  • Audrey

    I’ve made this salad many a time, always varying the recipe. Tonight, my thoughts on your carrot and peanut muffins, I added some natural peanut butter and soy sauce, and omitted the mustard, then mixed in avocado and some firm white cheese. I highly recommend it!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      That sounds like a great recipe mash-up, Audrey, it must have been delicious.

  • LaChelle

    Hello! I was just wondering (and I feel embarrassed asking this question) if I could use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic. I don’t have a great food imagination yet, so I can’t taste, in my mind, the difference. Thanks!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Absolutely! Apple cider vinegar is more acidic than balsamic so it will be a little different, but you could compensate with a touch of honey if you find the dressing too acidic then. Let me know how it turns out!

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