This featured sponsored recipe was created in partnership with our friends at Earthbound Farm.
I’ve spoken to you a lot about my experience with Earthbound Farm (and if you’re new here you can check out those features here and here and here and here) and how much I love their certified organic products. I’ve been using them since the brand was a small production and the lettuce was being packaged in the founder’s living room! Now, they’re an incredible company with an outstanding mission to empower us to look at the quality of the food we’re putting onto our plate and into our body. Not only does organic farming benefit our soil, water, air, and food but it also makes me feel healthier knowing what I’m putting in my body.
Today I’m bringing you a feature that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now because we constantly get asked, “How do you make the best salad?”
Well, we’ve got the answer for you today in a step-by-step format so that you can recreate this salad or make your own any day of the week. Let’s get started.
WHY WE LOVE IT
Well, let’s first discuss the fact that this salad is SUPER simple and super delicious. It’s easy peasy and takes less than 20 minutes to put together from start to finish. The flavor combination in this salad is out of this world delicious and I can’t wait for you to recreate this in your own kitchen. We love it because it’s equally ideal for a work lunch (bring the dressing in a sealable glass container – see below for our favorite brand that we use) or a fancy dinner party. No matter how or when you serve it, you’ll want to recreate it again and again.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST SALAD
These directions are also laid out step-by-step in the AUDIO directions below with a few extra tips in the audio, as well.
HOW TO START THE SALAD //
I suggest you think about what type of salad greens you want to use. In this recipe, I used the Earthbound Farm Rosé Blend, which I love because its tender green leaves are ideal for a crunchy salad. You can use any green of your choice (I love Earthbound Farm’s romaine hearts, their kale and arugula blend in salads but you can make any of their greens work). I love these products first of all because they’re all certified organic. That means 100 percent of their farmers grow with cultural and biological practices that promote ecological balance, build healthy soils, conserve biodiversity and avoid the use of conventional chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, GMOs and irradiation. Knowing that makes me quite a happy camper!
Once you know what greens you want to use, your next step is to choose what you want in the salad. Do you want something crunchy? Sweet? Savory? Do you want fruit included? Do you want to roast or steam veggies? Do you want to top it off with nuts or seeds? (If so, check out our How to Roast Nuts feature in our Basics series.) Do you want to add in a variety of fresh herbs for natural sweetness? Use your intuition here and do what feels good to you. There are no rules when it comes to making your own salad.
HOW TO MAKE THE DRESSING //
As I mention in this feature, I’m not a fan of following any formula for dressings because I don’t like to use a lot of oil. It makes the salad so soggy and sometimes olive oil can be so overpowering so I recommend you use the amount that makes you feel good and that lightly flavors your ingredients the way YOU want it. Here I simply combined balsamic vinegar with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh minced garlic (optional), a large pinch of ground cumin, sea salt, and pepper.
I usually make the dressing while I’m roasting, sautéing or steaming the veggies for the salad. In the recipe below, I’m roasting carrots so I made this dressing while the carrots were in the oven. I just whisked the above dressing ingredients together in a small glass weck jar (see below) and then drizzled it over the salad after the carrots came out of the oven. Nothing fancy here. Very basic and delicious and something you can do yourself any night of the week.
HOW TO MAKE THE SALAD //
Now, this part is easy once you decide what ingredients you want to include. All you need to do is toss everything together in a large serving bowl (I love using large wooden salad bowls like the one below). You can either toss all the ingredients together with the dressing before serving or you can do what I did in the photos and place the ingredients in different sections on top of the leafy greens and then drizzle the dressing on top. What I do here is toss right before serving. And that’s IT!
Now, on to this Roasted Carrot & Apple Salad. Based on what you learned above, let’s make it!
HOW WE MAKE IT
PREP TIPS // I like to prep my ingredients a few hours or directly before I serve this recipe so that everything is fresh. If you’re making this salad in advance, wait to drizzle the dressing on top until you’re ready to eat it. You can certainly roast the carrots one day before you serve this recipe but just note that they’ll be cold or room temperature instead of being warm when they’re right out of the oven like they are when you make the carrots right before serving.
DRESSING TIPS // When it comes to salad dressings, I don’t like to add a lot of oil because it makes salads really goopy and too oily for me so I prefer to follow my own ratio for dressings, which is to intuitively do what feels best to me so that’s why you’ll see something a bit different with my salad dressing recipes.
INGREDIENT SWAPS // Feel free to swap a ripe pear in place of the green apple or blueberries in place of the raspberries. Have fun with it and do what feels best for you. Also, when it comes to fresh herbs, the world is your oyster. I love using fresh basil or cilantro in this recipe but you can use whatever herbs you’d like such as parsley, tarragon or fresh mint. Add a combination of herbs if you’d like for an extra boost of fresh flavor.
THREE EASY STEPS
Here’s how we made this Roasted Carrot & Apple Salad in three simple steps.
STEP 1 // Prepare all the ingredients and place them into small ramekins (our favorite brand is below) and roast the carrots in the oven.
STEP 2 // Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing and set aside.
STEP 3 // Add the roasted carrots to the salad and drizzle everything with the dressing. Serve warm.
LISTEN // STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS
Listen below for Amie’s tips that are not mentioned in this article as well as quick directions on how to make this recipe and how to make the BEST salad anytime step-by-step.
SHOP the RECIPE
HOW WE EAT IT
SERVING SUGGESTIONS // I included my favorite tools in the Shop the Recipe section above so that you can use them in your own kitchen. I love to serve this salad in a large wooden bowl and to have all the ingredients in little ramekins as shown in the photos (and the brand I use is above in Shop the Recipe, as well). This salad is best served at room temperature with the carrots nice and warm out of the oven. Trust me, the warm carrots on top adds an incredible touch of warmth and flavor that you won’t get if the carrots are served cold or chilled.
OPTIONAL ORGANIC ANIMAL PROTEIN // How to Cook Chicken.If you’re a carnivore, you can easily add organic chicken to this roasted carrot salad recipe. Whether you like it roasted, poached, sauteed or baked, we have step-by-step directions for our favorite ways to cook organic chicken:
STILL HUNGRY? For more of our anti-inflammatory recipes, check out our 30 Day Reset Program, which is only available for a limited time through summer.
This salad is easy peasy and takes less than 20 minutes to put together from start to finish. The flavor combination in this salad is out of this world delicious. It's equally ideal for a work lunch (bring the dressing in a sealable glass container) or a fancy dinner party. No matter how or when you serve it, you'll want to recreate it again and again.
- 4 large carrots cut into 1/4 inch thick fry-shapes and ends trimmed
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 container Earthbound Farm Rosé Blend
- 1 green apple diced
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil or cilantro
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- large pinch ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the carrot fries on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Cook time will depend on how large and thick the carrots are.
- Meanwhile, combine all the other salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad ingredients in the serving bowl.
Add the roasted carrots and serve immediately. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
RECIPE COPYRIGHT // This recipe was created by Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple. Please do not reprint this recipe without our permission. If you’d like to feature this recipe on your website, please rewrite the directions and link to this recipe as the original source. Thank you.