Italian Carrot Salad with Basil is a delicious family favorite with oil and vinegar! A vegan & gluten-free side dish.Happy New Year! I had no idea this would be my first post of 2016, but after all of the rich food during the holidays, I had such a craving for our family’s Italian carrot salad with basil. Forget meat, cheese, and anything heavy or sweet — for now. I just want to settle in with a bel piatto (beautiful plate) of these gorgeous carrots and some crusty bread to soak up the delicious oil and vinegar dressing. Does that sound good?
This is a side dish, of course, even though I love to savor it as the main event for lunch. Mom has made this my entire life, and when she says we’re having “the carrots” with dinner, no one has to ask what kind. My blog wouldn’t be complete without them. (There will always be more recipes to share, but you know what I mean.)
Mom always tells me that the best Italian food consists of just a few simple ingredients. (Isn’t that a great recipe for life too?) Here, we have crisp-tender carrots, a red wine vinaigrette and basil coming together to make magic.
Here’s to all of us in 2016. May our year be bright, healthy and delicious!
(Recipe Source: Adapted from Mom, who doesn’t measure anything, but probably uses more oil than I do. She also uses garlic salt in hers.)
- 2 pounds whole carrots
- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 6 medium basil leaves
- Fill a large pot 2/3 full with hot water. Set it on the stove over high heat and add a couple teaspoons of salt to the water. Cover the pot.
- While your water is boiling, rinse and peel your carrots. Trim off and discard the ends. Cut each carrot in half so that it is 3-to-4 inches long. Cut each piece in half the long way to make the carrots thinner. If you have a thick carrot, you might want to cut it in half again the long way.
- When the water is boiling, add the carrots to the pot. When the water returns to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pot. Boil the carrots for 10 minutes, or until they are done to your liking. (Check by inserting a fork in one or tasting it.)
- While the carrots are cooking, stack your basil leaves and roll them tightly into a cylinder shape. Slice your cylinder of basil into pieces about 1/4 inch wide. This will give you ribbons of basil (chiffonade).
- When the carrots are done, drain them in a colander in the sink and run some cold water over them to stop the cooking. Transfer the carrots to your serving bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Gently toss everything together with two spoons. Serve at room temperature. (You can make it one or two hours ahead of time and let it marinate at room temperature, if you wish.) Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.