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Carrot Salad with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Photo by Judith Hausman

This no-raisin, no-mayo carrot salad is easy to make and uses spring’s plentiful cilantro, pistachios and cumin. Maybe you still have some overwintered carrots available or are lucky enough to be able to already harvest small, tender new ones. 

This recipe can be done in a jiffy, if you use a food processor to puree the herbs and grate the carrots. Any extra pesto freezes well, too. 

Taste your carrots before dressing the salad; if they are bitter, add a teaspoon of honey to the dressing. You can substitute lime juice, if you don’t have a lemon, and almonds, if pistachios are too dear. Mound the sunny carrots on top of baby greens, and top the pile with a crumble of feta to make an ample lunch. A light potato salad goes nicely with it, too.

Servings: 4


  • 1 pound carrots, grated or julienned
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted, shelled


Mix the grated carrots with a ½ clove of garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Refrigerate and set aside for as long as 24 hours. 

Meanwhile, whir the cilantro with the nuts and remaining garlic and oil. Add a bit more oil if necessary to make a smooth paste and a bit of lemon juice if you are not going to mix the salad immediately. This will prevent the pesto from turning dark. To serve, toss the pesto with the carrots, adding it by the spoonful until the salad is dressed to your taste. Season. Garnish with a few more shelled pistachios.


Read more of Locavore Recipes »

Give us your opinion on Carrot Salad with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto.
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Oh, this sounds awful to me. But then again, so does the original with raisins and mayo. And I don't like cilantro. Hm, I guess I'm hard to please. Sorry!
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 9/2/2014 11:35:44 PM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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