Turkish-Style Carrot Salad Recipe with Minty Yogurt Dressing
This Turkish-style carrot salad recipe is spiced with red pepper and garlic, and tossed in a tangy minty yogurt dressing. Enjoy as a side dish to your favorite main, or as part of a traditional Turkish mezze spread. Either way, this carrot salad recipe is a simple way to add more vegetables to every day meals.
Cool and Refreshing Mint
I love using mint in recipes for its cool, refreshing, and sometimes, sweet flavor. I build layers of flavor in this recipe by using dried and fresh mint. Add some chilies for a kick, and yogurt for tang. My favorite yogurt to use is the whole milk European-style yogurt from Strauss Creamery. It has superior flavor, and I prefer the thinner texture as opposed to a Greek (thickened) yogurt.
Also, as suggested above, carrot salad with yogurt can be part of a traditional Turkish mezze spread. Mezze is basically a spread of small dishes, meant to be shared with friends, traditionally over rakı, an unsweetened anise flavor alcoholic beverage from Turkey. Recipes do not necessarily have to be Turkish recipes. Garlic and Lemon Zest Shrimp, Zucchini Fritters, Mom’s Meatballs, Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip, and Marinated Mushrooms are all perfect recipes for a Turkish mezze night.
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon dried mint*
- 1/2 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes**
- 3 cups julienned or grated carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped mint
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Heat olive oil over medium low heat in a large saute pan. Add garlic, mint, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Do not allow garlic to brown or burn.
Add carrots, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine, and cook about 5 minutes, until carrots are just starting to soften. Empty pan into a large mixing bowl.
Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour over cooked carrots and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight to let the flavors combine. To serve, give a stir and garnish with fresh mint and chili pepper sprinkles.
*I used dried mint from a teabag (make sure it's only mint!). 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chopped mint may be used in place of dried.
**If Turkish red pepper flakes are not available, sweet paprika and cayenne pepper can be used to substitute at a ratio of 4:1. In this recipe ~1/3 teaspoon paprika to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.