Today we’re grilling up something extra special: perfectly sweet, tender, carrots! I’ve wanted to create a beautiful summer salad recipe using grilled carrots and OMG you guys, this one will have you doing backflips. Say hello to this gorgeous grilled carrot arugula salad layered with goat cheese, avocado, dried figs (new obsession), toasted walnuts, and a sweet and savory maple tahini dressing.
Each bite has a little bit of everything, which is what makes this grilled carrot salad so epic. It’s tangy, sweet, crunchy, creamy, zippy and all rounded out with those deliciously charred, slightly caramelized carrots. Are you hungry yet?!
Enjoy this fun salad recipe as a lovely summer lunch or serve it as a beautiful side dish at your next BBQ or potluck! It feels a little fancy and is super easy to customize with your fav mix-ins. I’ve even included another dressing option to try if that’s your jam. Hope you love it!
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Ingredients in this carrot arugula salad
I started with delicious grilled carrots and knew I wanted to add the perfect blend of textures and flavors to this salad. Everything gets tossed in a creamy maple tahini dressing and every bite is just magical. Here’s what you’ll need to make the salad:
- Carrots: you’ll start by grilling a few halved, large carrots so that they have those pretty grill marks. You’ll need some avocado or olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Arugula: the base of this salad is zippy, deliciously peppery arugula. It helps to balance all of the other mix-ins and the dressing.
- Mix-ins: we’re adding dried fig halves for sweetness, walnut halves for crunch, goat cheese for a little tang and savory flavor, and avocado for that amazing creaminess.
- For the dressing: tie the whole salad together with a dressing made with tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, a little dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ to get 10% off my favorite tahini brand, Soom!
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Customize your salad
This arugula and carrot salad is easy to customize to your taste preferences with simple ingredient swaps! Here’s what I can recommend:
- Choose your mix-ins: feel free to pick whatever mix-ins sound good to you like dried cranberries or dates, pecan halves, and feta cheese.
- Add a boost of protein: make the salad even more filling with a can of chickpeas, grilled chicken or shrimp.
- Pick your base: I love the combo of carrots and arugula, but you could also grill sliced sweet potatoes and/or use a mixed green or spinach base.
- Make it dairy free, vegan and/or paleo: simply leave off the goat cheese! The salad will still be delicious.
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A delicious dressing alternative
If a tahini dressing isn’t your jam, try my light maple apple cider vinegar vinaigrette that has a little more bite to it! Mix together:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.
Toss it with the arugula first or place it on the side and have guests drizzle it on their own salad before serving.
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Roast or grill your carrots
There are two super easy ways to cook the carrots for this salad — roasted or grilled! Both are delicious and will give you perfectly tender carrots. Start by tossing the carrots in avocado oil, salt & pepper, then:
- To grill: place the halved carrots directly on the grill and grill them at medium high heat (about 400 degrees F) for 15-25 minutes total or until slightly tender, flipping halfway through.
- To roast: add the carrots to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until tender.
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How to store this grilled carrot arugula salad
Store this carrot arugula salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you plan on making it ahead of time I’d recommend leaving the dressing and the goat cheese off until you’re ready to serve it.
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I hope you love this grilled carrot arugula salad! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Grilled Carrot Arugula Salad with Fig, Goat Cheese & Avocado
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Beautiful grilled carrot arugula salad with sweet dried figs, tangy goat cheese, creamy avocado and crunchy walnuts. Drizzle this fresh arugula and carrot salad with a flavorful maple tahini dressing for a wonderful lunch or easy side dish! Options to grill or roast the carrots for ease.
- For the carrots:
- 4 large carrots, cut in half vertically and stems/tops removed
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the salad:
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- ¾ cup dried fig halves
- 1/3 cup walnuts halves and pieces
- 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Maple Tahini Dressing:
- ¼ cup drippy tahini (I always use Soom Tahini)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons warm water, to thin out a bit
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Add vertically cut carrots to a large bowl or a platter and drizzle with avocado oil then season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Use tongs or clean hands to coat the carrots with the oil.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees F) and grill the carrots for 15-25 minutes total or until slightly tender, flipping halfway through. Please note, if you don’t want to grill your carrots, you can roast them at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until tender on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
While the carrots are cooking you can make your dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon, garlic powder, water (1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency) and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add arugula to a large platter (or you can keep it in a large bowl) and then layer with the toppings: grilled carrots, dried fig halves, toasted walnuts, goat cheese crumbles and avocado slices.
Drizzle tahini dressing all over the top and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Divide into bowls and enjoy! Salad keeps well for 2-4 days. Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side salad.
If you’re not into a tahini dressing, I suggest my simple light maple apple cider vinaigrette for this salad. You can toss it with the arugula first or simply place it on the side and have guests drizzle over their salad before serving: 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.
See the full post for delicious & easy ways to customize your salad!
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 6g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats