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carrot-quinoa salad with lemon-tahini dressing

Addictive Carrot-Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  • Author: alexandra
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6-8


This is a simple salad that can be adapted to your liking. The lemon-tahini dressing is from Gena Hamshaw’s Power Plates, and there’s nothing it wouldn’t taste good on.

This recipe halves well (both the dressing and the salad as a whole).

I also like this salad without the quinoa all together, which is how I made it initially. The quinoa bulks it up a bit — makes it a bit more filling — but if you just want a vegetable salad on the side, it’s nice without any grain.

The pine nuts are optional, but I like the crunch. Any other nut would be good here as would some currants or other dried fruit. Cilantro in place of or in combination with the parsley would be good, too.

Tahini: I like the Soom brand.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa, I like red for color, optional, see notes above
  • kosher salt

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 12 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

To finish the salad:

  • 1.5 lbs. carrots, scrubbed well, ends trimmed, peeled if very dirty (about a pound post trimming)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts or other nut, optional
  • 1 cup finely minced parsley, plus more to taste


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Add the quinoa and cook for 10-12 minutes or until you see the white tail begin to pop from the kernels. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste. I like to add another teaspoon of maple syrup and more salt to taste. Set aside.
  3. If your carrots are especially dirty, peel them. Otherwise, simply wash them. Trim the ends. Send them down the chute of your food processor fitted with the shredder attachment. Transfer to a large bowl. Season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and toss. Set aside.
  4. In a medium skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat watching closely the entire time. Stir frequently. When the nuts are toasty, remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Add the quinoa, pine nuts, and parsley to the bowl with the carrots. Add the dressing. Toss to coat. It may be easiest to toss with your hands. Taste. Adjust as needed with more salt or lemon. Serve immediately or pack into containers and stash in the fridge.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Grain Salad
  • Method: Stovetop/Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Fusion

Keywords: quinoa, carrots, tahini, lemon, salad