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Roast Carrot Salad with Muscadine Vinaigrette


Muscadine, the traditional sweet southern wine, makes a great base for John Fleer's vinaigrette because it balances the bitterness of the greens. If dandelion greens are unavailable, use all watercress. Regular carrots can be substituted; peel them and cut into slender 3-inch pieces.


  1. 1 cup muscadine or other sweet wine, such as sweet Riesling
  2. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. 2 pounds baby carrots, green tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 4 cups packed dandelion greens, torn into bite-size pieces (about 3/4 pound)
  4. 2 bunches of watercress, large stems trimmed
  5. 1/2 cup Pickled Pepper Relish
  1. In a small saucepan, boil the wine over moderate heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 9 minutes; let cool. Stir in the mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice, then whisk in the vegetable oil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the carrots with the olive oil and spread them on a large, heavy baking sheet. Roast the carrots for about 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned; let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the dandelion greens and watercress with half of the dressing. Mound the greens on 8 plates. Toss the carrots in the remaining dressing and arrange them on the greens. Scatter 1 tablespoon of the Pickled Pepper Relish over each salad and serve at once.
Make Ahead The carrots can stand at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Suggested Pairing

A Californian Sauvignon Blanc like those from Matanzas Creek.



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