The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

Masthead header


Spicy Carrot + Quinoa Salad

A couple months back, Gilt Taste invited a handful of food bloggers to review and cook with products from their site and I couldn’t be more thrilled to participate. Last week I received a box of gorgeous, perfect produce from Farmer Jones Farm – Gilt Taste’s Chef’s Tasting Box.

Prettiest carrots ever

Filled with the most charming carrots, tiny potatoes, micro-greens, edible flowers, fresh herbs, beets and tender, uncured garlic, it was such a fun and creative challenge to consider how to develop the ingredients into a handsome recipe. Doing this brought me back to the creative place that fueled the Seasonal Food Guides – a process of thinking and considering, of addition and subtraction, of strategizing and speculation.

Fresh Spinach

What I landed on was this salad. I’m enamored with the flavors of Thai cooking right now and had originally considered a more straightforward curry – something whose heat and coziness would be perfect this time of year. But the produce was in such perfect form by itself that I didn’t want to mess with it too much. I considered translating the flavors of a curry into a dressing – hanging on to the coconut milk (a great starting point for a dressing), the curry paste, the lime, cilantro, mint and green onion and putting it to work with the carrots, microgreens and a little quinoa for heft. And here we are. It is indeed spicy – so those with a sensitive palate might want to hold back on the red chile flakes.

Serves 4

For the salad:

6 medium carrots, julienned
1 cup rinsed micro-greens
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons fresh, minced cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh, minced mint
1 small bunch spinach
edible flowers for garnish, optional

For the dressing:

1/4 cup coconut milk (use one with full fat content)
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, optional

First, make the dressing. Whisk together the coconut milk, lime zest and lime juice. Add the green curry paste and dissolve with a fork or the back of a spoon until thoroughly incorporated. Add the sugar, salt and chile flakes and blend thoroughly. Set aside.

To make the salad, combine the carrots, micro-greens, green onions, quinoa, cilantro and mint. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss.

Divide the spinach between four plates. Top with the salad. Garnish with edible flowers if desired.

Micro greens

  • Elizabeth - What a perfect winter salad–definitely inspiring! And so dressy with the flowers and all. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve promised myself to make for lunch, but somehow I always end up with a cheese sandwich instead.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie - That looks so flavorful! Even though it’s cold and blustery out and all I want to do is wrap myself up and sip on hot soup, there are many times where a bright and vibrant salad like this is just what I need to perk me up on those dark days. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Tine - These edible flowers are so beautiful in this salad…ReplyCancel

  • leela - gorgeous images and lovely recipe! can’t wait to try.


  • NicoleD - You make the prettiest salads! Love the pop of pink and red from the edible flowers.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane - This is just gorgeous (especially for a cold, late fall day), Kimberley!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - Oooo…I’m intrigued by that dressing. This will get me out of my vinaigrette rut! Very nice.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I love seeing what every one is doing with this bounty. Your dressing sounds amazing and my oh my are those photos ever pretty! Lovely, K.ReplyCancel

  • SG - How amazing! What a treat to get that lovely goodie box! Very much looking forward to trying this… Just today I was thinking that I should get off the soup for a bit and make a delicious salad. Perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Sharyn Dimmick - I love the flavors in this. Now I just need to lose the quinoa (can’t stand the stuff, but I can easily make salad without it).ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - How beautiful. I love the thai spin in the dressing. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Cookie and Kate - I absolutely loved opening up my google reader to discover several wonderful recipes on my favorite blogs using produce from The Chefs Garden! I got to visit the farm and tour the greenhouse a couple of months ago (you can see photos on my blog). It’s a beautiful place. And this salad! It looks incredible. Now I’m craving those delicious Thai flavors. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - Beautiful. All of the Gilt posts today are so colorful and vibrant. Definitely putting the dressing on my list.ReplyCancel

  • nicole franzen - yummy! love thisReplyCancel

  • Kasey - I, too, have really enjoyed seeing all of the colorful Gilt creations. Lovely to see you back in full force! xoReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - This is what winter cooking should be… bright and bold! How marvelous this looks!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - Gorgeous photos as always! This salad looks gorgeous and I love the sound of the dressing. Nice work, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - Those edible flowers are gorgeous! What a lovely refreshing dish.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - Like Hannah, I’m in a dressing rut and eager to try this! Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photos, Kimberly.ReplyCancel

  • Season with Reason (Rebecca) - That photo warmed me up on this dreary December morning. It’s perfectly seasonal but also reminds me of crisp salads on a summer afternoon. Happy New Year to you!ReplyCancel

  • The Wimpy Vegetarian - This is just beautiful!!! And I love how this salad and dressing sounds. I’m making it this week!ReplyCancel

  • TM - Hello,

    I was thinking about purchasing the Gilt produce box you received can you please tell me how it compares to a box containing the below. This organic box cost $44 & is delivered locally. Since the Gilt box costs double, I want to make sure it’s actually double the produce :-)

    2 lb Our Farm Purple Top Turnip
    1.5 lb Klamath French Fingerling Potato
    1 cnt Our Farm Green Romanesco
    1 bu Our Farm Bunched Collard
    1 bu Our Farm Bunched Leeks
    1 cnt Our Farm Head Radicchio
    1 bu Brawley Assorted Chard
    1 cnt Brawley Leaf Lettuce
    1 bu Bakersfield Bunched Carrot
    1 bu Brawley Bunched Spinach
    1 cnt Brawley Fresh Cauliflower
    1 cnt Brawley Red Radish
    1 cnt Our Farm Bunched Broccoli
    1 lb Capay Loose Rutabaga
    1 lb Capay Root CeleryReplyCancel

  • thai coconut quinoa salad. - […] Taking some of my favourite healthy ingredients, I decided to incorporate some of those beautiful flavours Thai flavours I mentioned above. I found an absolutely stunning recipe for a Quinoa Salad &¬†Coconut Lime Dressing on this beautiful blog. […]ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I made this tonight and really enjoyed it. I wanted to add more protein so I marinated a chicken breast in the dressing and served that with the salad. It’s super tasty; I’m looking forward to taking the leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *