Carrot Salad (Old School)


Yep, lots of mayo, cheese, and olive oil make this salad yummy.

Once a year for about a week, my employers host a series of dinners featuring these guest chefs from Venice, Italy. The food created by Ernesto, Alessio, and Hani is simple, soulful, and mostly excellent. It’s also a trifle old-fashioned in a very endearing way. No nouvelle cuisine here, no stinting on the fats, no unnecessary garnishes. Just good food made with care.

This carrot salad is simple, kind of old-school, and certainly not for the dieter. It’s a good and unusual choice for a pot luck meal. It doesn’t look like much, but it tastes damn yummy.

You will need:

  • 3 very large carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 pound emmentaler (or gruyere) cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup best quality mayonnaise (make it from scratch if you can)
  • 1/3 cup highest quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup grated aged parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Now do this:

Into a large bowl, use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrots into irregular strips. They can be different sizes, lengths, widths, whatever. When you’ve finished the carrots, use the peeler to do the same thing with the chunk of cheese. This mindless shaving process for the carrots and the cheese takes a long time, so have a glass of wine handy or turn on the news or something.

Toss all ingredients together until uniformly combined. Check for seasoning and add a bit more salt if necessary. A bit of lemon juice also helps if it seems a trifle one-dimensional. This salad should sit for at least thirty minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

This salad is best served cool, but close to room temperature.


Check out some of my other posts featuring food from our visiting Italian chefs:


Spaghetti gorgonzola:

Spaghetti genovese:

Italian invasion:

Italian invasion 2:

Risotto scamp:

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