Friday, September 30, 2011

Middle Eastern Style Carrot Dill Salad

Simple, Colorful Carrot Dill Salad

Recipe by Bruce

Recently we were trying to use up all the perishable veggies in the refrigerator before going away for a bit. We’d accumulated a substantial amount of carrots for our CSA share, but those would last until we got back home. However, the plump bunch of dill would not. My husband suggested a simple carrot-dill salad. “Tell me more,” I said. 

His idea was based on a potluck dish he’d enjoyed 20 years ago that was mainly shredded carrots and dill. He said that it used “shooss” (“shoes?” I asked), which is a sour grape juice used in place of vinegar in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s more mild, sweet, and flavorful than most vinegars. It’s called ad dhureh in Iran. Though I can’t find online references shooss, a recent LA Times blog post describes what the French call verjus, which is also a sour grape juice.

Shredded Carrot, Cup of Fresh Dill, Juiced Lemon
Simple, Healthful Ingredients
Unfortunately we didn’t have any shooss on hand, nor the time to find any before our trip. So, Bruce substituted apple cider vinegar. He added fresh lemon juice, another common ingredient in Middle Eastern salads. This had the added benefit of using up the very ripe lemon that might not have lasted till we came home. I like his idea of using a pinch of dry dill in the dressing, to compliment the fresh dill.

I was amazed by the taste of this dish. It’s dill, complimented by the sweet crunch of carrots, and the dressing is extremely light, in fact it disappears into the carrots. It’s also simple and fast to make, especially if you grate the carrots with a food processor. And the ingredients are inexpensive. I’m definitely going to recycle the idea of making this colorful dish for potlucks.

Carrot Dill Salad and Mixing Tongs in Stainless Steel Bowl
Toss the Salad in a Large Bowl
Middle Eastern Style Carrot-Dill Salad
Makes about 5 cups

1 ½ lbs. carrots
1 bunch fresh dill
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or shooss)
1 tsp. olive oil
pinch of dry dill
8 grinds sea salt
8 grinds pepper

Wash and trim carrots, then run through food processor with grating attachment. You may grate carrots with a hand grater if you prefer.

Remove dill leaves from stems and cut to about ¾ inch lengths using kitchen shears. You should have about 1 cup of chopped dill, lightly packed.

Make dressing: stir together lemon juice, cider vinegar, olive oil, dry dill, salt, and pepper.

In large bowl, toss together carrots, dill, and dressing. Serve with extra salt and pepper to taste.


  1. What a great way to use up the dill!

  2. Quick correction - the sour grape juice is called ab ghoureh in Persian!