Some Japanese restaurants offer a carrot ginger salad dressing that is out of this world. This version is a thick dressing you have to stir around in your salad. The flavor is slightly sweet and spicy.
It works surprisingly well on most any kind of salad, from simple lettuce to a traditional cobb salad. While it tastes nothing like honey mustard dressing, you can assume any salad that tastes good with honey mustard will taste good with this dressing.
It’s quick and easy to make, and it stores well in the refrigerator in an air-tight bottle for up to 2 weeks. As with our curry dip, you can make carrot ginger dressing as thick or thin as you like. If you choose to make it thicker, it also works as a veggie dip or cracker spread.
What goes into this recipe? It’s pretty simple. Carrots, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger paste, celery salt and regular salt. And, optionally, onions and garlic. If you like those flavors, they are terrific in this recipe and won’t remotely overwhelm the carrot and ginger. But if they’re not your thing, just leave them out.
The trickiest part of it is finding ginger paste, which is not carried in every grocery store. If you have an Asian market nearby, they will probably have it. Otherwise you might need to order ginger paste online.
You can also use fresh ginger, roughly chopped in about the same amount as you would use of the paste. The paste reduces your chopping time, and still tastes wonderful but if you can get fresh ginger and prefer working from scratch, go for it.
You’ll also need a blender or food processor. We used the Ninja Food Chopper because it does a great job and super easy to use and clean.
The first thing to do is put your chopped baby carrots into the food processor or blender.
If you want onions and garlic, go ahead and add them at this stage too. What I did here was 1 clove of garlic and about a half cup of chopped onion.
And if you’re using fresh chopped ginger instead of paste, go ahead and add it now too.
Now you pop the lid on and blend it. With the food chopper, there’s just one speed. If you have a blender, you probably want to start on high speed for 10 seconds and see how much that grinds it down. You want to get it pretty smooth, but not completely because you’re going to blend some more as you add other ingredients.
Aim for something like this picture, which shows the carrots, onion and garlic fairly well chopped, but not as smooth as you want the final dressing to be. There are still some chunks of carrot, still some pieces of chopped onion on the lid that haven’t been blended at all yet.
That’s okay. And let’s take a moment to discuss the final texture of the dressing. I don’t try to make this one perfectly smooth. You can leave it thick, with some texture from the carrots, which is how I like it. You can try to make it smoother if you prefer.
Just scrape the ingredients from the lid back into your blender or chopper, and use a spatula to push down anything that’s stuck up on the sides.
Now you’re going to add your wet ingredients along with the salts. That’s the ginger paste, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and water. It’s not beautiful at this point (it will be later), but here’s what it should look like. Blended orange stuff with lots of wet stuff on top.
The little pale yellow blobs are the ginger paste that’s been squeezed out of the tube.
Then blend it until it’s pretty smooth, and you’re done. In the end, it’s a pretty yellow-orange color, and the texture I go for is thick and not completely smooth. If you want it thinner and more smooth, add water and blend more.
Once you’re done making your dressing, taste it. If it’s a little too tangy or sour, add some honey and blend again. If it’s too sweet, add more vinegar. If it doesn’t seem to have enough flavor, add a little bit more salt. You’ll be surprised how much salt brings out all the flavors.
You can also make some substitutions or add ingredients to this. Some people like to add a little bit of lime juice. Another wonderful addition is a small amount of toasted sesame oil. And do start small, because it has a flavor that can overwhelm. You can tweak this recipe quite a bit to make it more to your liking.
This recipe makes a delicious thick, rich carrot ginger dressing that works well on all kinds of salads.
- 12 oz Baby Carrots, chopped
- 1/2 chopped onion, optional
- 1 clove garlic, optional
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste or chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of water
- Dash of celery salt
- Put the carrots in the blender. If you're adding onions and garlic, put them in, too. If you're using fresh chopped ginger instead of paste, add it now, too.
- Blend it until it's not completely smooth and you can still see some small chunks.
- Add the ginger paste, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, celery salt, salt and water.
- Blend until it's pretty smooth.
1. You can blend until it's thin and watery, but it's wonderful left thick and not completely smooth.
2. Blanching the carrots is unnecessary. It makes no difference and just wastes your time.
3. Why apple cider vinegar? It has a wonderful flavor with a touch of sweetness. But rice vinegar is also good.