Grated carrot salad, a recipe inspired by “French Kids Eat Everything”

DON’T WORRY, AN INTERVENTION ISN’T NECESSARY. But we liked the grated carrot salad from Karen Le Billon’s book so much I wanted to include it here. I also changed the dressing a bit, making it a little more Italian rather than French. It’s still every bit as Euro-delicious.

I don’t know about you but my kids aren’t usually into salad. There was a time when Phoebe would spot a great leaf of anything on her plate, be it basil, parsley or actual lettuce, immediately pick it off and deposit onto MY plate while explaining “I don’t yike salad.” Sigh.

However, this one is different. Instead of lettuce which can be bitter and hard to eat, sweet and crunchy carrots are the only thing in the bowl. And my version of this delicious dressing includes a bit of balsamic vinegar, making it a bit sweeter and even more kid-friendly. The littlest guys can even eat it with their fingers if you go light on the dressing plus a side dish like this is extra easy to make baby food with. Just steam and blend, then Baby can eat the same meal as the rest of the family.


adapted from “French Kids Eat Everything”


  • 2 cups julienned or grated carrots (usually available already grated at the grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: fresh basil (or any other fresh herbs you like)


In the bottom of your salad bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until the dressing comes together. Use more or less oil until you get the consistency and flavor you like. Add the carrots on top but don’t toss until you’re ready to serve. Without tossing, this salad can wait for up to 30 minutes in the fridge without getting soggy.



  1. Jennifer says

    One thumbs up, one nose up from my kids on this recipe. David and I liked the flavor a lot. Issue for me was the ratio of dressing to carrots. I grated carrots from our garden with the kitchen aid. They were much more fine than your picture. I don’t know if that was the issue, but we doubled the amount (4 cups) of carrots, and still felt like it had too much dressing. Next time, we’ll dress the carrots more judiciously and save the remaining dressing for next time.

  2. says

    I love this version. I tried it, and my kids think it’s even better than the original! 😉
    ps I, too, used less dressing than in this recipe. But I think it’s a matter of personal taste. And the carrots will actually absorb a little bit of the dressing if you let them marinate for a while!

    • charityc says

      Karen it’s so fun to hear from you! That’s the beauty of dressing, you can add as much as you like as long as you don’t combine the whole thing first. I’ll make a note on my post…and in the meantime thanks for stopping by.

  3. Louise G says

    Am loving these recipes, and even more-so your honesty with what your kids DON’T like – I have the fussiest 14 month old in the world, and although fresh, healthy food is a high priority in our household, I’m currently on a baking blitz of chickpea filled slices and pumpkin and carrot muffins to get any goodness into the little one. I hope it wont be long before getting him to even taste something like this recipe will be possible, but I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone in thinking 15 tastes before they like it is no small feat!

    • charityc says

      Hi Louise! Thanks so much for your note and hang in there. It’s such a tricky age and will almost certainly get better, especially if you keep with offering healthy foods in every tasty way you can. We’ll keep posting our hits (and our misses too…sigh.) and hopefully a few more might work at your place too!


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