carrot-salad-with-harissa-feta-and-mint Recipes

carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint

There’s nothing better than a recipe that gives you a feeling of promise, especially when it involves something as mundane as carrots. Yes, carrots. I mean, just when I thought I’d done everything worth doing with carrots — shredding them into my favorite carrot salad, pickling them, roasting them for an avocado salad, grinding them into a ginger dressing, grating them into Indian vegetable pancakes — a reader (Hi, Sasa!) came along, emailed me her favorite carrot recipe and with one look, I knew exactly what my carrot routine was missing.

soaking the carrots

It turned out to be a lot of things (fortunately, none of them were striped socks), actually, but small things: paprika, caraway, cumin, harissa, mint, garlic, parley and also feta. The carrots are grated, the spices are heated with a pinch of sugar in olive oil, whisked with lemon juice and poured warm over the carrots, with minced mint and parsley — think North African pesto. You let the flavors muddle for a bit and then you add feta. And I know this is when I should say “You can eat it with lamb! At a picnic! With skewers off the grill and pitas!” But honestly, I just ate it with a fork. Because this salad is fascinating.

peeled carrotsshreddedharissa, cumin, corriander, paprikaspices to heat

Carrots (carrots!) (I’m sorry, I have to do that parentheses thing every time because I myself can hardly believe that a bundle of carrots can generate such excitement.) are hot, spicy, punchy with lemon, salty with crumbled cheese, bright and minty, green and fresh. This is the exact kind of thing I always wished I had waiting for me when I would try to pack lunch for the office, instead of the same old leftovers or deli counter dry turkey sandwich — not just a salad but a welcome break from routine. Even carrots deserve that once in a while, and so do you.

carrot salad with harissa

One year ago: Asparagus Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
Two years ago: Mushroom Strudel
Three years ago: Baked Eggs + Chive Biscuits + Bloody Marys

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint
Adapted a bit from a reader, who adapted it from her mother, who adapted, most likely, she said, from Cuisine Magazine

3/4 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (I used seeds but ground them first)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground (I used the seed but ground them first, again)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
100 grams feta, crumbled or chopped into bits

In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the herbs and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating. With a fork.

Harissa: Is a North African chile paste that has become so popular, we were tickled to find it all over tables in Paris two years ago, right next to the Dijon mustard. There is almost nothing it doesn’t make more delicious: eggs, potatoes, stews, couscous, sandwiches and more, and there are almost as many recipes as there are people who consume it. Most boil down to hot chiles ground with garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil, often with a smidge of sundried tomatoes. You can make your own (I’ve been eying this recipe for some time) or you can buy some (I brought home this brand, which we love). The adavantage of making your own, as always, is that you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes and desired level of heat.

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234 comments on carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint

  1. Wow, love the blog and this looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Quick question – what would you add for a bit of a crunch? I was thinking maybe sunflower seeds or maybe cashew nuts?I like my lunchtime salads crunchy!

    1. deb

      Aisling — Toasted pine nuts? Toasted almonds? Walnuts? Toasted sesame seeds?

      Although this salad stands on its own, I might throw a hard-boiled egg and some pita wedges in the lunch bag too.

  2. The Universe is determined to make me like carrots, and this (followed closely by the Moroccan Carrot Soup I made yesterday from Bon Appetit) looks like it will do it!

  3. I just tried harissa for the first time in a sandwich at a cafe yesterday and I loved it. Thanks for sharing about the brand that you like. I’m also tempted to try making it myself, but perhaps it’s safer to buy some first and try it out that way. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That looks good! I am inspired to make a carrot salad with feta. I might substitute whatever hot sauce I have in the cupboard for the harissa since we don’t have an ethnic grocery store nearby. Yum!

  5. I love carrots, but find I don’t buy them very often because I don’t know enough ways to prepare them. Thanks for giving me another way to enjoy them. I’m pretty sure you could put feta on much less appetizing entrees and still call it delicious, so to have it on carrots sounds delish!

  6. I got a bunch of carrots in my CSA box this week. My husband suggested putting them in soup, which okaaaay – it is cooler and stormy outside – but this sounds better. Plus I know little about and have no Harissa, which means I get to go shopping…

  7. Wow, now I’m hungry for salad. Which is a good thing, because my summer CSA is set to start soon, and I need some serious inspiration to work magic on all that vegetable matter! Thanks for the great idea, as always.

  8. Paige

    Do you think they sell harissa at whole foods? Or would I need to go to a specialty store? This looks delicious.

    1. deb

      Paige — This brand is supposed to be sold at Le Pain Quotidien and Whole Foods. But many stores carry other brands of harissa, just check the packaging (thanks for the tip, Last Night’s Dinner!) and make sure the ingredients resemble the list I give above.

  9. Allison Smith

    Deb: I want your spice containers… they look so simple and awesome! Can you tell me where you get them?

  10. What a great post Deb! I’ll have to try this with the carrots my mom and I picked up from Union Square on Saturday…

    Anyway, I don’t want to sound like a complete jerk or anything because I am a fellow food blogger and we’re all human, but I noticed a small typo in the first paragraph (repeat of “reader”)… Sorry. I feel like such a jerk, but I would feel like an even bigger jerk to just wait for someone else to tell you…

  11. Deb, you have the most divine timing! I just made homemade harissa which, with a food processor, is so simple and delicious. Besides my original dish, I had no bright ideas to do with it. But feta? Check. Carrots? Check. I just need the herbs and I’m set. I may even add in the radishes that are sharing veggie drawer space with their greenmarket friends.

  12. This looks so yummy….. I would also add chickpeas like Megan suggested to make it a meal! I can’t wait to try it out… might even try to make my own harissa!

  13. I have a tube of harissa sitting on my shelf that I’ve never used. Have been a little intimidated by its potential heat (some of us are just wusses). I think I’ll try this and add the harissa incrementally before I have to call the fire dept. to hose me down (although that could be fun).

  14. Youthbaker

    I am lactose intolerant and dying to find a salty/crumbly alternative to feta.Does anyone have any ideas?
    P.S. I put grated carrots on all my stir fries, it adds a little je-ne-sais-quoi.

  15. Oh, now I’m wishing I had bought four bunches of new season carrots at the weekend instead of just the two that were roasted for dinner last night. I could very happily eat a bowl of for lunch tomorrow. Oh well, soon.

  16. This salad is about the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. I have two bundles of carrots in my fridge–I was planning on making boring ol’ carrot juice with them, but this post has totally changed my course of action. I imagine making this, putting it in a tupperware and taking it with me on a picnic with a nice glass crisp white wine. Go summer!

  17. Marilou

    Deb, is the one-hour marinating time to be made at room temperature, or in the fridge? Many thanks in advance, looks superb!

  18. Hey Deb!

    This weekend I went to a New York themed costume party dressed as the first New York person that popped into my head when I got the invite – you! I made your Spicy Caramel Popcorn to take to the party and it was a big hit! Anyway, I just wanted to say I think your blog is Awesometown – one of my favourite places on the net – thanks!!

    xo Francesca

    1. deb

      Maybe Next Week — Glad you enjoyed the popcorn. Did you dress up as me?! If so, I’m terribly sorry. Nobody (else) should ever have to wear that much JCrew at once!

  19. Another Rae

    True story: I saw the tweet of this recipe, read this recipe and walked immediately into my kitchen to make this recipe. You see, recently I’ve been on a carrot salad bender ever since my sis-in-law introduced me to her Czech version (involving apples and caraway, etc.). I always need some of it in the fridge. I also happen to love (and have on hand) harissa. The only out-of necessity substitution I made was smoked paprika… and it added some extra goodness, I think. Great recipe! I love your site.

  20. Caz

    I am in love with Harissa! Well actually more like I’m having a teenage crush from afar where I don’t actually talk to or interact with said crush in any way.

    I’ve been bookmarking recipes with Harissa left and right these past 3 weeks but I cannot for the life of me, find it ANYWHERE in Melbourne. I tried making a variation of it once, quickly, but considering the quantities I wish to consume it, I’d love to find a vat-sized jar somewhere in a deli or supermarket here.

  21. Kate

    I discovered Harissa about 6 months ago and now look for things to put it on! I bought mine at Williams Sonoma and love it – I believe it does have citrus in it though in the form of preserved lemons. Its great mixed with some mayo and Greek yogurt for a sandwich spread.

  22. Manders

    This is perfect, since I’m trying to eat better, and the weather here has hit “OMG IT’S SO HOT I WANT TO DIE”. Everything I love is in this, too, so I’m definitely going to try this soon.

  23. sara

    Yum — this looks great! My German mother-in-law makes a carrot salad with a mustard-white-wine vinaigrette which I could by the bowlful. This looks like a tasty alternative. :)

  24. A Seattle Cook

    Never been a big fan of feta and mint…thought I might use cilantro and parsley but what cheese to use? Goat cheese sounds to creamy…still thinking…any ideas?

  25. Lori

    This is what I have been craving, and I didn’t even know it existed! All it took was reading the title to inspire me to order some harissa. I love harissa. I love carrots. I love feta and mint.

  26. I had some carrots around, so I decided to make a modified version tonight. I didn’t have harissa, so I used a thai chili sauce that I like, and I also added some chives. Delicious! Will definitely be making this again!

  27. Hey Deb,

    I did dress up as you! We don’t have JCrew in Sydney, so I kept it pretty simple and streamlined (which is how I imaging you dress!) – jeans, t-shirt, apron, oven mitt, and camera. Plus I straightened my hair (which equals big effort for me). Unfortunately there were no adorable babies for me to borrow/steal to complete the outfit!

    It was lots of fun being you for a night!


  28. Charlotte

    Love Jacob’s office! And I’ll have to go find me some harissa. Sounds yummy and I have a huge bag of organic carrots waiting to be made into this! Thanks.

  29. I really didn’t think carrots could look that delicious. the only thing I love carrots in is gajar ka halwa that my mom makes. sometimes mixed with dudhi (bottle gourd), it’s the best comfort food ever.

  30. It appears I will be making my own harissa soon so I can make this. To me, carrot salad is more of a slaw because if a salad meets the following 2 qualifications a) no lettuce and b) shredded ingredient.

  31. For my ex-boyfriend, carrots were the best thing in the world and he used to eat kilos a week. I was never so keen but your salad is just fantastic and I love your excitement about a recipe.

  32. mel

    YES! I’m cooking for foodie friends on the weekend and have been pondering what to serve with pilaf and honey/saffroney chicken. THIS is perfect! :)

  33. Olena

    I am from Ukraine and we have a similar salad which we call “Korean carrots”, which was most probably introduced by Korean immigrants who sell it these days at markets. But we don’t add harissa (just chilli powder), nor mint, or feta cheese. Also, we cook lots of it to have it longer (as it is actually a bit laborious to grate carrots this way). We marinate it at least for few days for a richer taste and it is served more like a condiment to meat and such. You can keep it for weeks in a fridge and it will be getting only better.

    Thank you, your blog has been very inspirational for my cooking experiences the last half a year, especially for your international, jewish, eastern european and indian crossovers.

  34. Very nice – I never would have thought to make carrots in this way. That’s fantastic. It will be on the table this weekend for our dinner guests..I know they’ll love it too.

  35. oz

    we do this all the time…its one of my favorites too:) to make it even better we usually swap the feta with greek yougurt. it is soooo amazing. we eat it with crackers, chips, pita or with a big spoon:D

  36. I’m so glad you liked it! I was all nervous that you’d send me an email saying “you are evil, how dare you make me waste time on such a terrible thing, did you have your tastebuds SURGICALLY REMOVED woman?” OK, not really, but you know, when you love a thing with all your heart (stomach), you want everyone else to love it too ;P

  37. I’ve always thought carrot an incredibly unappealing vegetable in a salad… But combining it with feta? Almost makes me want to rush home and make it! Yum – thanks for a great idea…

  38. Diane

    This salad looks delicious! To Diana, Paige, and a few other comments asking where to find harissa and if they can find it at Whole Foods, I don’t know if this is okay to mention here in comments, but just want to share that I found (and love) Alili Morocco brand at WF. Hope that helps.

  39. Travels4Food

    I’ve not compared it to other brands, but Sabra (the folks who make the best hummus on the mass market) makes harissa – I think I found it in the refrigerated section near the hummus. For the person who asked what it is: it’s a very spicy, chunky condiment that generally contains red pepper flakes, garlic and other spices. I wouldn’t be surprised if one could buy it through, as well.

  40. I think you made this recipe just for me. Just yesterday, I was complaining about the amount of carrot sticks and steamed carrots I eat and that I needed to do something different. Well, this is it! Thank you.

  41. kris

    Deb, found a typo, on the second line underneath the garlic picture it reads
    “actually, but small things: paprika, caraway, cumin, harissa, mint, garlic, parley and”
    should be parsley.

    Know you are finicky about these things, so thought I would let you know.

    Another wonderful recipe I can’t wait to try.

  42. I hate to be a shill for The Man … but I was tired of just about everything with carrots because I was getting Big Farm carrots that tasted like dirt. But the other day I broke down and got some carrot and celery from Whole Foods, and it was like a religious experience. Actually had taste. So now i’m all over the carrot salads. This one looks great.

  43. kris

    Ooops, found another one. In the recipe section under the list of ingredients it reads “cook the arlic” instead of garlic. Sorry, I am at work and reading your recipe and dreaming about carrot salads instead of doing what I should be doing (proofreading/editing some of my own work). LOL.

    Youthbaker – I have a few lactose intolerant friends that are able to do feta if they buy the authentic 100% sheep’s milk kind instead of brands that contain cows milk.

    1. deb

      kris — Thank you. Also, I discovered I’d spelled coriander wrong each time. I need more sleep. Anyone want to have a little talk with the Tiny Executive about that?

      12th Man — I wouldn’t call that shilling. While making carrots for the baby, I was really bent on getting them from the Greenmarket but the stuff I brought home wasn’t wonderful, ended up buying green top ones instead from Whole Foods. Actually, same ones here. They cooked down “like butta” — sweet and smooth. However, I think I just got a bum batch; I’ve generally found the market carrots to be sweeter and more flavorful.

      Btw, soaking carrots in water (as you can see I did, above) goes a long way to restoring their snap and juiciness. It’s why you always see “baby” carrots in plastic bags, and some bundles too; so they can keep water inside.

  44. Hi Deb! This recipe looks fantastic. After years and years of hating carrots (I blame overeating baby carrots) have also been on a carrot bender in recent months. My latest post showcased a Moroccan Carrot salad sandwich with goat cheese and green olive tapanade- here is the link, if you’re interested:

    I wonder if your version might do well in a similar sandwich, reserving the feta to be spread on bread and adding a bit of tapanade. I might need to try it!

  45. Shannon O’Connell

    I have a gigantic bag of organic carrots in the fridge that I don’t want to go to waste. I’ve never been a carrot person, but they were the cheapest veggie in the grocery store that day and my hubby likes them. I may have to try this tonight! My Delaware Super G most likely doesn’t carry harissa, but I might give sriracha (sp?) a shot in it. Thanks Deb! You’ve saved my carrots!!! ; )

  46. i think this is going to be a great salad for a chicago to ann arbor, MI road trip this weekend. we stop off at lots of wineries, and who needs to worry about lunch when you have booze to drink?! plus, i have everything but the harissa and mint, so it certainly simplifies the shopping too!

  47. sarah

    Lovely! Should you be in need of another carrot/feta recipe the carrot puree (with caraway, feta, and mint) in the Casa Moro cookbook is delicious.

  48. brooklynbee

    I looove harissa! I live in Brooklyn, on a street with many Middle Eastern Stores (including the world-famous Sahadi’s), so harissa is absurdly easy for me to find. I just have to walk about half a block and I can find six stores that sell it. :) I have some in the fridge right now, along with extra carrots! Serendipity!!

  49. Thank you for this recipe! I was starting to nibble on carrots dipped in hummus for a little variety. I don’t like carrots too much, but I can tell your dish is something I would enjoy eating.

  50. I’m totally with you on the parenthetical asides of excitement. Looks lovely. We have a tube of harissa in the fridge (or, as a guest who ate the potato tagine at our recent seder called it, “spicy toothpaste”), and I’m always looking for more dishes to sneak it into.

  51. Katherine

    1. I eat 1 lbd of carrots a day
    2. I get garlic from a jar because I don’t know how to use it
    …there, I said it. this recipe looks great

  52. I love shredded carrot salads! So perfect for a picnic. I usually just toss carrots with a little vinagrette made with Dijon mustard… but since harissa is now sitting on bistro tables right there with mustard, it must belong in carrot salad too. I’m so excited to give this a try. And since my windowsill mint plant is threatening to overtake the whole kitchen, I might even double the mint.

  53. Katy

    Casablanca in Cambridge, MA, serves something like this in their meze plate. It’s amazing. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

    1. deb

      Stoich — Funny! I didn’t realize that people would assume that I have one. I’m not from NY, anyway, but Jersey: a whole different bag of accent! Which I think I mostly escaped, phew. Anyway, it was fun to hang out with Cathy and Michael and then eat pizza at Roberta’s while peeping at the farming going on out back. I wish all Mondays were that exciting.

  54. This sounds wonderful. I love carrots and I hate the feeling of overcooked vegetables, so just the gentle heat from the blended spices sounds right up my alley.

    I should just grow my own carrots, but already I think my garden is more ambitious than I really have time for. Start small!

  55. Julia Bailin

    I have been meaning to test out harissa for awhile, and now I have an excuse. If I have to go asking for it in the store, however—is it pronounced ha-RISS-a or ha-REES-a?
    Julia Bailin
    Norwalk, CT

  56. Sounds like an awesome Monday, to be sure! It’s always Big Apple talk around SK, but I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised since I’ve seen your Martha Stewart vid on YouTube, and indeed, Jersey and NY accents are a world apart. It was fascinating to hear a more recent clip of you, though! The book sounds so exciting, and yes, :) of course we’ll all want the weeness of Jacob to be included somewhere in the book (by then he’ll be 2 years old!). Congratulations on the book, the interview, everything! We’re rooting for you…

  57. Robin

    Hi Deb!

    Thanks for posting something that looks so completely tasty! Just wanted to point out another quick typo: “In a small sauté pan, cook the arlic,” should be “garlic.” (Frankly, if I had a Tiny Executive half that cute, I’d be hard pressed to even type a coherent sentence to say nothing of missing a few typos!)

    Also, belated congratulations on your cookbook!! (I called my mom and sister as soon as I found out and we’re all equally thrilled at the prospect of owning a copy! I hope some of your beautiful pictures will be included! I still miss them from the print option on the website :))

  58. Jean Marie

    As usual, I’m late to the party. This salad looks and sounds fabulous. One little thing (and no, I don’t care about typos), you say to grate the carrots but they look shredded to me. I’m hoping they are because my food processor will shred but I don’t have a grating disk.

  59. Darien

    Wonderful recipes, wonderful pics, wonderful everything! Will be in NY soon for a visit…any “musts” for cookshops to visit?

  60. This looks so good! Feta is a staple in my house, and I just discovered a FOREST of mint coming up in the garden from a small patch last year. Now if only my carrots would fight stronger against the crazy assault of morning glory, I will be able to add this salad to my regulars. Thank you.

  61. Lindyloo

    It is 1:55 in the morning in Santiago and I am up waiting for my chocolate beetroot cake to cook. You have stilled me completely and happily by your gorgeous photo and recipe of carrots, harissa, feta and mint. How simple. How beautiful. Thank you.

  62. Kate

    Deb, that looks great -I love harissa and harissa, fetta and carrots go together so well……I make a salad very, very similar to that but instead of harissa, I use pomegranate molasses which accentuates the sweetness of good carrots. I just looked at where you got the recipe from and I see that it was Cuisine. If that is Cuisine magazine from NZ, hunt around in their archives and the best recipe ever for harissa will be found!!

  63. Kate

    Sorry!!! The recipe for harissa that I know and love did originally come from Cuisine magazine, but after posting my comment I went looking for it on their site and could not find……apologies !!

  64. hi Deb, I’m going to be in New York for a few days next week, I was wondering if you could suggest a few places that are a must see…I have been there several time, so I have done most of the “touristy” things. I know you are not a tour guide, but you do have the best ideas! Thanks…Monica

  65. Fahy Bygatef

    Thank you, thank you for what looks so divine!! My favorite carrot recipe is:
    Chopped carrots
    Olive oil
    Dried currants


  66. I’ve really got to go out and buy a jar of harissa so that I’m prepared for recipes like this one. I always just cheat and use the asian chili garlic sauce that is already in the fridge….

  67. Gemma

    Hey! I just wanted to say ‘kudos’ to you for getting mentioned in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine (June 2010 issue)! Here’s to spreading the deliciousness :)

  68. This looks really lovely. Do you think that if the grated carrot was cooked/sauted/a little caramelized and warm, it would still work? I am not a fan of the regular raw grated carrots but the flavor combinations sound divine.

  69. Alright, I think I’ve caved and must make this tonight. I’ve got crossed-fingers because I’m not sure I’ll be able to find harissa nearby on such sort notice, but, I’m gonna give it a try. (I think I’ll also be adding radishes to the salad … not that it needs them, but I have a ton of the little beauties springing out of my garden.)

  70. Your carrots are so pretty! And this salad is super simple, but it sounds absolutely delicious… The feta/mint combination is one of my favorites :)

  71. T2

    This may be the most beautiful picture of garlic ever.

    And thanks for introducing me to a new seasoning. I’d never heard of harisa before.

  72. Carrots are one of my favorite veggies. I adore them and can eat them straight up all day long!

    However, fetta is also becoming something I love and want more of more often. This looks like a great combo of what I always want to eat. haha

  73. Michelle

    Made this last night and it was awesome, so light and refreshing and different! Everything about it – love carrots, love feta, and now I love Harissa!!!!

    Paige – I did find Harissa at Whole Foods (Boston location) – I was lucky because the guy I asked said that it was brand new and just started stocking it. SCORE! However, It was Harissa Spread, don’t know if that made a difference or not. I used it anyway and it came out really good.

  74. Kristi

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I even found harissa after some searching and the flavour was really unique. Thanks for yet another fantastic recipe!

  75. I couldn’t find the harissa, but I made the salad anyway, using harissa-adjacent ingredients. It was sooo delicious. I loved the mint, with just a touch of feta. I think I’m going to make a batch of homemade harissa and try again. It can only be even better. I joined a CSA this year, so between my gardens and theirs, I hope to have lots and lots of carrots – this recipe is a keeper.

  76. Esther

    I’ve made this salad twice already … in two days time. So simple but every ingredient is crucial (the kick of the spices, freshness of the mint, creaminess of the feta) and bring this dish together. Wonderful, thank you!

  77. I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with all of the people (well, except for the guy who didn’t like feta enough to try it). I love the idea of a simple and relatively quick salad to make for work that isn’t yet another leaf salad, and I have a ton of the harissa left for another go!

  78. I just made this as part of a garden party/feast. Living in a pretty isolated neighborhood, I wasn’t able to swoop out and find harissa, but luckily I was able to borrow 2 oz. of very strong dried pasilla peppers from a friend. I used them instead of the 4 oz. of New Mexico peppers in the harissa recipe you linked to (also used a mortar and pestel instead of a food processor) and the harissa turned out amazing! I used it in this salad and I can honestly say this is the best salad I have ever had. It was gorgeous with fresh multicolored carrots. It also went incredibly with other garden party dishes, your Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters and Cabbage and Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts. Thank you Deb!

  79. Jennifer

    I am making this for the 2nd time today. I loved it!! I didn’t have harissa so I used sriracha sauce instead and it was great. I’m trying it today with harissa. Thank you!

  80. eleonard

    I made this on Saturday and paired it with shrimp. It was such a tasty and healthy meal (um, until the cheese and bread came out after dinner). The salad flavors are so bright and complimentary. Thanks for posting. Great recipes!

  81. HelenM

    I made this to go with a BBQ last night expecting to have some left over this morning to go in a work lunchbox thingy. Needless to say the whole lot got demolished as soon as we started eating it – this is seriously scrummy, and even my Sceptical Friend was converted. Am now musing on whether this might work well with courgettes (zucchini) instead of (or as well as) carrots. I think it might y’know…

    Thanks a lot for the recipe, really enjoyed it!

  82. Laura

    I loved this recipe! I added raisins and didnot have harissa but it was still delish with carrots from the farmers market. And the best part was I made it in the small 45 minute window I have after work but before yoga!

    Thanks for posting such ingenious, quick, healthy recipes!

  83. This was such a unique and intriguing combination of flavors! I loved the combination of spices, especially the caraway which was so unexpected. It was piquant and refreshing. I selected a harissa paste in a tube, from France, rather than the condiment-style spread (it was half the price). It worked great.

  84. Sally

    Just as I wondering what to do with my jar of homemade harissa this popped up! I made this for friends at the weekend and it was so so good. Thank you!

  85. Naomi

    YUM!! I usually shrink from carrot salad – always reminds me of institutional catering – but you have converted me. I just made it for dinner and it was lovely. I didn’t have any caraway or mint but it still tasted great.

    Those looking for harissa: In Germany I get it at the Turkish supermarket, in a tube, for around a 1 – 2 Euros. Doesn’t look as fancy as Deb’s but it does the trick for me.

    One question: the paprika I get here is labeled “hot”, “medium” or “sweet”. What kind do you use?

  86. YUM! I am right now eating it with a SPOON while my kebabs are grilling. I can’t wait to be civilized. I think I will have to rush out tomorrow and buy more carrots and feta. I also love the idea of having it for lunch with chickpeas.

  87. Hi, I’m one of the masses who loves your site so much. Just want to say thank you– I really adore this salad. At first I was very unsure of making a raw carrot salad (and yes it doesn’t take much to frighten me) but I’m so glad I did because this is a lovely salad. I ended up making Paula Wolfert’s Harissa recipe which was very easy and made a pretty nice amount to my surprise (more than a cup). So thanks again and I’ll be making this again very soon I’m sure.

  88. Mandi

    Out of carrots but still wanting to try this, I ended up making the spiced dressing and putting it over chickpeas and it is amazing (I’m eating it now!).

  89. Alison

    Hi, I read your side religiously (and *love* your recipes!), but have never posted. However, I just had to after reading this… I just returned from a trip to Tunisia, where I discovered the deliciousness that is harissa! Appropriately, you posted this on our first day there, the first day I tasted harissa in all its glory! Now I can’t wait to try the recipe! Anyways, it struck me that you should post that the day we arrived there, and I thought I’d share my (new-found) love of harissa!

  90. Emily

    Hey — Just made this tonight and it delicious and a big hit with guests! Served it with yogurt marinated chicken kabobs and roasted broccoli, and it was a great counterpoint to both. Thanks so much!

  91. Nadia

    A pal and I had wanted to try out this recipe ever since you posted it, even before it got a glowing review from Luisa over at the Wednesday Chef, and we finally made it last night. The salad was yummy — the word you used (fascinating) is a great description, but we felt the sum total of textures was just too soft. My friend had made a very simple chickpea, parmesan, lemon and oil salad as well, and when we mixed the two together (as you would, accidentally on purpose in a plate), we realized that what this salad lacked was a bit of crunch. When I make it again, I’ll add something like roasted or fried nuts, or even chickpeas for extra bite. I’ll also use a bit more harissa, which seemed to get a bit lost in that divine oil marinade. I’ll bet the marinade can be used with so many other meals as well. We also felt the salad was a tad on the dry side, but I’m wondering if that’s because I used carrots which were a bit old. But perhaps more marinade next time too.

  92. Lindsey

    Do you think this salad would be okay to make ahead and serve later? We have family dinner on Sunday but are going to be out of town Saturday night and Sunday morning so I was thinking of preparing Saturday morning.

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  93. Mairi

    Sounds amazing – just so weird read the top 50 food blogs on The Times website & then to head to the Wednesday Chef which featured this recipe & brought me here to the Smitten Kitchen for a recipe from Cuisine – the weird being I am in NZ & work on Cuisine – it is indeed a small world!

  94. Jonathon S.

    I suppose I’m a bit late to the party, but I couldn’t help pointing out that there’s an incredibly simple recipe for harisa in Clifford Wright’s “Some Like It Hot”:

    – Soak a quarter-pound of dried guajillos and an ounce of dried de arbol chiles for about an hour or until rehydrated.

    – Stem & seed the chiles and toss them in a food processor with a half-dozen cloves of garlic and a couple Tbsp each of water & olive oil. Puree until smooth.

    – Squeegee into a bowl and stir in salt, ground caraway, and ground coriander seeds (about 3 : 1 : 1/2).

    – Pour into jars. Put a layer of olive oil on top to prevent spoiling, and as long you put new oil on after you use some, it’ll keep for a year. (Although the book claims it makes around a cup, we got more like 2 or 3 pints…)

    (Whole Foods’ website also has a recipe, at

  95. This? Marvellous. I wasn’t expecting it, but it genuinely stole the show at a buffet dinner with my housemates. Who knew grated carrots could be so awesome?

  96. Sylvia

    I just made this. I add grated carrot to almost everything anyway, and it really reminded me of when I went to Morocco last year, although I subbed feta for yoghurt on the side, because I didn’t have any of the cheese. It went quite well, I think. I will definitely do this again!

  97. Oh! This is THE answer to the fickle pregnant tastebuds… yum! Pasteurized feta, a bowl of carrots, and I’m in heaven. I made it for the THIRD time tonight to take along to a potluck at a friend’s house (it’s going to be an eccentric kind of dinner, and I figured I might as well make what I want to eat.)

  98. Lucylew

    I have pretty much made this every two weeks since you posted the recipe. It is fabulous. A pita stuffed with this and a piece of crisp lettuce is my current favorite lunch.

  99. Elizabeth

    Oh, beautiful princess Deb, is there any way you would maybe, maybe, maybe please consider re-attributing the recipe’s origin from “adapted a bit from a reader” to “adapted a bit from Sasa Sunakku”? Things like that matter so much to this particular reader of color. :)

    1. deb

      Elizabeth — I’m not sure what being a reader of color has to do with your request. The reason I didn’t include Sasa’s full name was that at the time, I rather stupidly did not realize that she had a blog, and thus would never assume that she’d want me to share her full name from her private email header with strangers. When I put two and two together, I added her name and link.

  100. A2Laurel

    Amazingly good! I made the harissa from the recipe you linked and served it with broiled, onion marinated lamb chops (from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything). I’m partial to sheep’s milk feta and it was tangy and wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about this. It was a delicious salad for our hot days here.

  101. Amy

    Made this for lunch this week- so good! I also added chickpeas which was a fantastic addition and made the salad a little more substantial. Thanks for the recommendation, it will become a regular lunch!

  102. gingersnap

    New to your site and totally smitten…made three of your recipes for xmas dinner. This one stole the show. I recently converted to vegetarianism, so I thought I could just sit there happily putting away the side dishes while everyone else ate the roast beast–but lo and behold, I barely even got seconds. They DEVOURED this. (Your garlic-roasted mushrooms and cabbage-lime-peanut slaw were big hits as well.) I found harissa at our food coop, but I think I’ll try a homemade version with more heat (we grow some kickin’ peppers). Thank you for a fantastic blog.

  103. Just made this the other night along with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain mix and Beet Tzatziki and pitas. Everyone loved it, and it felt like a flavor bomb of a nice veggie detox during what have been long stretches of winter cravings for heavy starches and butter.

  104. This is my go-to salad recipe when I’m bored of leaves. EVERYONE raves about it. I can’t find harissa (haven’t looked super duper hard, but you know) and use Thai chili paste instead. I feel like it amps up the tartness of the dressing.

    I’ve made it without mint and parsley, and it’s not as good, but still delicious. I’ve made it with lemon from a plastic bottle, and it’s not as good, but still delicious. I’m telling you, this carrot salad is a magical, wondrous creation.

  105. Deb, I loved your carrot salad…adapted it for a Harissa Lamb, Cucumber, Carrot and Chickpea Hash. Instead of heating, I simply mixed it up (excluded a few spices) and used it as one of the layers. Adding roasted chickpeas and onions is also tasty! Clark

  106. Jenn in Madison

    This is delicious! I used already shredded carrots from a bag, since it was a weeknight and I had them on hand. Actually, I only had about 8 oz of carrots, so I chopped up a bunch of spinach and threw that in. De-lish! I think if you shred the carrots yourself, they will soak up the awesome vinaigrette even more, but with pre-shredded carrots it was still excellent. I will definitely be making this again. We had it with Moroccan-spiced burgers served in a pita with a yogurt-tahini sauce and it was a perfect accompaniment. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  107. Maureen M

    We could not wait the hour to infuse,dived in with forks. Also used beet colored carrots,very eye pleasing. Next pot luck I will say I’m bringing ” carrot salad”. Found your site via Saveur.

  108. I’m afraid you’ve forgotten some crucial instructions here–namely how to keep yourself from eating this directly from the bowl with your fingers! :) This salad is so, so good. I just made a batch “for dinner” and I’m afraid I’m about 1/3 of the way through it already. I’m firmly of the mindset that harissa makes everything awesome and I don’t know why I’d never thought of pairing it with carrots, mint and feta. I’m thinking next time I will toast off some almonds and perhaps toss some raisins or currants into the mix. Delish.

  109. Naomi

    I have a question for any readers in Germany. Does anyone know the difference between caraway and cumin seeds, and what names they are sold under? The names are so similar in German I get confused! Deb, despite the fact I haven’t yet sorted out the seeds, this salad is very delicious.

  110. Sadie

    Sounds so good! Wish we could make it very soon. We have carrots that have been in our garden for a year. Time to dig them up and make some delicious salad.
    (Sadie is six and a half and wrote this herself.)

  111. KittyKat

    Hi Deb,

    After trying out quite a few of your recipes and loving most of them especially the Double Chocolate Layer Cake, i finally found some Harissa paste which is not easy to find in Greece and i made this salad. I made it once last week, once today, and i want to eat it again tomorrow. It is a taste explosion!

  112. lala

    ps. i have had harissa forever and was just adding it to marinades. thanks for the new use! easy to find at trader joe’s, for those who are still looking.

  113. Bella

    I have been waiting for years for an opportunity to make this salad, and now I finally want to make it for the coming holiday (Sunday). I don’t have harrisa, though. Can you suggest a substitute? Can I use sirarcha mixed with paprika? Or just cayenne? Much appreciated!

    1. deb

      Hi Bella — Use another spice or paste that you’d like. Or, you can make your own harissa. I link to a recipe under the main recipe.

  114. Tanya

    I’ve made this recipe 3 times now! My husband doesn’t really like carrots, but really likes this salad. Thanks for the recipe!

  115. Miriam

    Just made this salad for lunch… how many does it serve as a main course? Please let me know as it is marinating in the fridge :-) It looks delicious, many thanks.

  116. Lauren

    I make this salad all the time. It is sublime. Thanks so much for posting it! Don’t skip the sugar! Also excellent with a little slivered red bell pepper and olives on top.

  117. Indri

    I discovered a version of this salad at my gourmet chicken shop. Instead of grated carrots it had roasted baby ones cut in half. It also had toasted slivered almonds which gave a delightful crunchy texture and a generous amount of mint to finish it off. I WAS HOOKED!
    I dived through the internet and found this recipe which was the closest one to that of the gourmet chicken shop.
    As soon as I possibly could;I roasted carrots and added the roasted almonds and made the salad. I was in heaven!
    Thanks you for sharing this recipe with me. I adore it

  118. Allee

    I made this without harissa and substituted sriracha. I also didn’t use caraway seeds because I just don’t like them that much and I didn’t have any fresh mint around either. I added golden raisins and even with all of these variations it came out really well and was a very yummy part of my lunch!

  119. Lisa

    I was looking for an interesting side to serve tomorrow that generates minimum cooking heat during this 99 degree heat wave. This is brilliant combining my ‘favs’ of cumin and Harissa. Thank you for great inspiration and equally an easy to use index!

  120. Lisa

    I made this on Saturday and added cumin toasted chickpeas, because I had an abundance. Yum. Healthy, light, fresh with a depth of flavor.

  121. Jillian L

    I am not a raw carrot person, I believe carrots should be pickled or baked with a generous amount of butter, so why did I make this? Well, I bought an amazing, and maybe unnecessary, hand mandolin peeler and have been making beautiful veggie *noodles* out of everything. This is the recipe that has made me love raw carrots, it’s incredible. I didn’t have any parsley on hand, but as I’ll be making this again, immediately, I’ll pick some up to get the full effect. But wow, just a really delicious salad, and harissa is new to me, I can’t wait to put it on everything (once I stop eating this salad for all meals). Time to start looking in the archives, because I have been missing out!!

  122. Kathleen

    I’ve been making this with a mixture of carrots and kale– AMAZING. I’ll chop up a bunch of Dinosaur kale and massage it (snicker) with a bit of kosher salt– then toss the carrots, the amazing dressing, feta, and some cilantro (I’ve been subbing cilantro for the mint because I never have it around). Oooh, I also don’t grind up the cumin or caraway seeds, and have been subbing smoked paprika for regular. Life-changing.

  123. Deb, I just am so impressed with your blog. I’ve been checking it out for about a month now, and I just love your cooking style, baking style, and common sense. I can’t wait to make this salad! I think my husband will approve, which is sometimes challenging, because he’s not very adventurous trying things that are new to him. I know the harissa you have in your picture, it’s the same one I use, from Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, MI. They have the greatest little gourmet shop in the deli, and I found this on the shelf at my last visit. So I shipped 2 jars back to CA, and that was a great gift. I use this harissa in my Moroccan chicken recipe, in the marinade. One of my best dishes…EVER. There are lots of ingredients, but when you cook it in your Dutch oven, and the house is filled with the smell of dinner…, OMG, it’s such a winner. I love to make this for dinner parties, because it’s something you make ahead, and forget for 2 hours while in the oven, so you can easily participate in conversation with your friends. I think this salad will be the perfect complement with Moroccan Chicken.

  124. Deb, my husband is Israeli, and we love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. It is actually a recipe that I got from his deceased grandmother, food network, and my tweaking the flavor profile. I’d love to share it with you, since you’ve shared so many awesome recipes with me. Let me know how I should get that to you. (I think I saw an email address for you? I’ll look for it again, and send it to you. I would love to hear what you think about it.). I made this recipe tonight, even though I’m not crazy about carrot salads, normally because they are always too sweet. Yours was spot on!! Just 1/2 tsp sugar was all that’s needed since the carrots are sweet in their own right. Plus, I grow all the herbs, have a prolific lemon tree, and spices is my way in life to make something boring…outstanding! I followed your recipe exactly. I used the same spices in the salad on a couple chicken breasts, that I cooked in the same skillet that I made your dressing in. And I made a couple homemade pita (a recipe from which made the perfect dinner after a hot day. Thank you so much! Will do this again, and again.

  125. Cap

    What is the brand of harissa you used in this. Please I need to know quickly. Everything on the website behave tried has been wonderful. Thank you so much.

  126. marisa v

    Speaking of carrots and harissa, I ate roasted carrots with harissa and yoghurt at the Whale Wins (in Seattle) and it was completely amazing. Go try this now… hopefully they still have some.

  127. Judith

    One of the best reasons to eat carrots–ever. I very uncharacteristically didn’t taste for seasoning before I dished out the salad, so my first-taste experience was the same as that of the others at the table. Ohhhhh. So, so good–and I didn’t tweak the recipe, not by one grain of salt. Two notes: 1. I followed your lead and ground whole caraway and cumin seeds. I highly recommend taking the extra step. 2. I used Mustapha’s Harissa (you can get it online at the Spanish Table website), which isn’t my favorite harissa for every use, but which worked really well in this dish. Thank you so much for all you do, Deb.

  128. Penny

    Wow! You really nailed it with this one! Who knew I would like carrots so much? ! I had everything apart from the parsley, which I forgot to get at the store, and even had all the seeds. I didn’t grind them and rather enjoyed the crunch. I even used the mint from my own garden! I didn’t wait the whole hour, though – couldn’t wait that long and was back in the kitchen at 52 minutes! I served it up with the feta, a slice of my own homemade bread and – believe it or not – a little warmed through and thus crumbly – corned beef! Absolutely delicious and I will SO be making it again.

    Thanks so much for the recipe and, as ever, your brilliant blog. (And your fabulous cookbook, which I got for my birthday! !)

    Very best wishes,


  129. Kit

    My best friend’s cousin (another avid fan of SK) brought this to their family’s Christmas Eve dinner. I HATE carrots, but when she told me it was her dish and she’d gotten it from here, I put a respectful spoonful on my plate. After all, last year she made that strange endive/orange/almond salad thing–another combination of flavors I normally hate–and I ate like three…

    Long story short, I ate seconds of carrots for the first time in my life. Would have been thirds except everyone else attacked it too!

  130. Janet

    Deb, because I trust your taste buds without reservation, made this dish for the first time for my Easter family dinner. It was very well received, so much so that even with doubling the recipe, I sadly will not get to have the leftovers for lunch all week. Thanks so much for passing this along to us!

  131. stephanie

    I make this for my parents all the time – we love it! Deb, did you ever get to try Denise’s (#217) Moroccan chicken recipe?

  132. Julie

    Just made this and it’s in the fridge getting ready. I just looked at your pictures and the garlic looks chopped (minced), not crushed, as the recipe reads. I crushed the garlic and took it out before I poured the sauce on the carrots (since no one would appreciate a large chunk of crushed garlic). I think the chopped garlic will add a nice flavor to the salad so I will saute some and include it when I add the feta. Just wanted to let you know — crushed vs. chopped. Thank you! Can’t wait for the salad to be ready :)