Burnt Carrot Salad

burnt carrot salad-3

Burnt Carrot Salad

Inspired by the grill master Francis Mallmann.

The first time I made this salad I cooked the carrots on the BBQ and served it with only a little cheese as a side dish to a BBQ rib eye steak. The salad completely outshone the meat. Here I’m burning the carrots in a hot pan. While the results are pretty decent in the kitchen, it’s not quite as mind blowing as the BBQ version. So if you can BBQ your carrots by all means do.

serves: 2-4 as a side
takes: 15 minutes

1 bunch baby carrots
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
100g (3oz) fresh goats cheese

1. Heat a large heavy frying pan on a very high heat for 3-4 minutes.

2. Meanwhile trim and discard carrot tops. Halve carrots lengthwise.

3. When the pan is super hot. Add a little oil and the carrots, shaking to make sure they are in a single layer.

4. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until carrots are a little burned and charred in places.

5. Meanwhile, combine balsamic, soy and 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

6. Turn the carrots and cook for another minute or until cooked to your liking.

7. Scatter leaves over a serving platter. Top with hot carrots, drizzle with dressing and finish with little chunks of the cheese.

Prepare Ahead?

The carrots will sit happily in the dressing for a few hours. But best to add the leaves at the last minute so it doesn’t wilt.

Leftover Potential

Will keep for a week or so in the fridge.


vegan – replace the cheese with a generous handful or two of roasted almonds or sunflower seeds.

dairy-free – see the vegan option. Or try a couple of chopped boiled eggs instead of the cheese. Or add nuts instead of the cheese.

side salad – either decrease the cheese or skip it all together and serve as a side salad to BBQ steak or chicken.

more substantial – I’m keen to try this as a carrot & lentil salad. Just toss a drained can of lentils in the dressing. Or use home cooked lentils that have been boiled in water until tender (15-20mins) and drained. You could also add roast nuts and serve with flat bread / tortillas.

carb lovers – add roast potatoes.

carnivore – replace the cheese with shredded cooked BBQ chicken.

soy-free – just skip the soy sauce in the dressing and be more generous with the salt & pepper.

budget – replace the goats cheese with ricotta or another less expensive cheese. And use 5-6 regular carrots quartered lengthwise instead of the baby carrots.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – replace cheese with roasted almonds.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

baby carrots – keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. Will last for weeks.

balsamic vinegar / soy sauce – keep them in the pantry.

salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they wont go slimey.

goats cheese – in the fridge in the packaging it was purchased in. Unopened will last for weeks.

Problem Solving Guide

too burnt – try to char the carrots well on the first side and leave the other sides more lightly cooked so it doesn’t overpower,

carrots crunchy – if the carrots are too large, they wont cook through in the time it takes to char them.

bland – season more generously with salt & pepper. And next time try a different carrot supplier.

too sweet
– with the sweetness from the carrots and balsamic, it can head in the ‘too sweet’ direction. Just up the salt or toss a little more soy sauce in the dressing.

Serving Suggestions

Lovely as a side salad with BBQ chicken or other meat. Also great with bangers and mash. Or increase the goats cheese and serve on its own as a light lunch.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanna Almon May 11, 2015

Hi Jules,
After some time away, I returned to your site and my first recipe today was this wonderful salad- really something for the hungry cook! I had some lovely carrots from the market, baby spinach leaves and goat cheese from Aldi and it really took me only ablut 10 Minutes to get the salad on the table. Some blueberries and greek yoghurt as dessert and I am happy. 🙂
Very tasty, will make again, next time on the grill (here in Germany summer is starting).


jules May 14, 2015

Welcome back Johanna!
I really love that salad too.. so glad you enjoyed it!
It’s also lovely using roast beets (roast them first) then char like the carrots.
Lucky you coming into Summer!


michelle plakas-kaiser March 7, 2013



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