How to make Zanahorias Aliñadas

During a memorable journey across the picturesque landscapes of Spain, I had the delightful opportunity to taste a refreshingly simple yet profoundly flavorful dish known as Zanahorias Aliñadas. This traditional Spanish salad marries the sweet crunch of carrots with the vibrant tang of apple cider vinegar, complemented by the earthy notes of oregano. It’s a celebration of natural flavors and textures, embodying the essence of Spanish cuisine’s love for fresh, quality ingredients.

Captivated by the dish’s straightforward elegance and eager to relive the experience back home, I embarked on a culinary experiment to master Zanahorias Aliñadas. It was a process of discovering the perfect balance between the acidity of the vinegar, the sweetness of the carrots, and the aromatic touch of oregano. Finally, after several trials, I achieved the harmony of flavors I yearned for.

Now, it’s my pleasure to bring this slice of Spanish gastronomy into your kitchen. This recipe isn’t just a set of instructions; it’s a gateway to embracing the simplicity and richness of Spanish flavors, a journey I’m excited to share with you as you explore the robust tastes and rustic charm encapsulated in Zanahorias Aliñadas.

Zanahorias Aliñadas

Zanahorias Aliñadas, a delightful Spanish carrot salad, exudes the elegance of Spain's culinary tradition through its simplicity and vibrant flavors. Discovered during a journey across Spain, this dish celebrates the humble carrot, transforming it with the lively tang of apple cider vinegar and the aromatic depth of oregano. Each ingredient, including the crisp carrots, the sharp vinegar, and the earthy oregano, plays a pivotal role in creating a refreshing yet profound flavor profile. The quest to recreate Zanahorias Aliñadas at home was not only successful but also an enlightening exploration into the harmony of simple, quality ingredients. Sharing this recipe transcends mere culinary instruction; it serves as a bridge connecting diverse cultures and inviting others to embrace the simple joys of Spanish cooking. As both a nutritious side and a testament to the rustic charm of Spain’s gastronomy, Zanahorias Aliñadas offers a taste of the country's rich culinary heritage, making it a cherished discovery from travels meant to be enjoyed and shared.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Course Vegetable
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4
Calories 852 kcal


  • 1 slotted spoon
  • 1 half-gallon


  • Salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 7 large carrots


  • Bring a half-gallon of water on the stove, along with a teaspoon of salt.
  • Carrots should be washed and peeled before being added to the boiling water.
  • Cook the onions till they’re tender but not too soft.
  • Then wash them and immerse them in cold water to chill.
  • Stir in the garlic paste, then add equal measures of vinegar and liquid until the carrot is completely coated in liquid.
  • Refrigerate the carrots for at least 4 hours after covering them with plastic wrap.
  • With a slotted spoon, scoop the out of the fluid and serve with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
Keyword apple cider vinegar, carrots, Spanish paprika

Cooking tips about Zanahorias Aliñadas

Zanahorias aliñadas

  • Quality of Carrots: The star of the dish is, undoubtedly, the carrots. Choose fresh, firm, and bright-colored carrots for the best flavor and texture. Organic carrots can offer a sweeter taste, enhancing the overall profile of the salad.
  • Blanching Perfectly: To preserve the vibrant color and crispness of the carrots while making them tender enough to absorb the dressing, blanch them briefly in boiling water. The key is to ensure they remain slightly crunchy, and not too soft, by immediately plunging them into ice water after blanching.
  • The Right Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is preferred for its fruity tanginess that complements the sweetness of the carrots without overpowering it. Quality vinegar contributes significantly to the final taste, so opt for the best you can find.
  • Balance with Oregano: Fresh oregano brings an earthy, slightly bitter counterpoint to the dish that balances beautifully with the sweet and tangy elements. If fresh oregano is not available, high-quality dried oregano can be a good alternative, but use it sparingly as its flavor is more concentrated.
  • Infusion Time: After dressing the blanched carrots, let them marinate for at least an hour or even overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to meld and the carrots to fully absorb the dressing, deepening the complexities of the dish.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve Zanahorias Aliñadas at room temperature to ensure the flavors are at their peak. This dish can be a refreshing starter, a unique side dish, or part of a tapas spread, complementing a variety of main dishes with its robust flavors.

Serving suggestions about Zanahorias Aliñadas

Zanahorias aliñadas a la moruna ⋆ Divina Vinagreta

  • As a Standalone Starter: Serve it as an appetizing starter before the main course. Its acidity and freshness can stimulate the appetite, making it perfect for kicking off any dining experience.
  • Tapas Style: Embrace the Spanish tradition by including Zanahorias Aliñadas in a tapas spread. Accompany it with other small plates like olives, cheese, and cured meats for a casual yet diverse eating occasion.
  • Side Dish: Pair it with grilled meats or fish. The salad’s vibrancy and tangy flavors beautifully cut through the richness of heavier dishes, providing a balanced and wholesome meal.
  • With Bread: Offer crusty bread on the side to soak up the flavorful marinade left at the bottom of the dish. This way, diners can enjoy every last drop of its delicious dressing.
  • Garnish Option: Use it to garnish or accompany sandwiches and wraps, adding a crunchy and flavorful element that enhances the overall taste of your meal.
  • Refreshment on Summer Days: Particularly during the warmer months, Zanahorias Aliñadas serves as a cool and refreshing choice that pairs well with barbecue and picnic fare.

Top 5 FAQs about Zanahorias Aliñadas

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  • What is Zanahorias Aliñadas, and what are its origins? Zanahorias Aliñadas is a traditional Spanish carrot salad known for its simple yet vibrant flavors. This dish comes from Spain, embodying the Spanish culinary tradition of using fresh, quality ingredients to create dishes with profound flavor profiles. Its origins are rooted in the country’s emphasis on seasonal produce and regional cooking styles, highlighting the humble carrot with a lively mix of apple cider vinegar and oregano.
  • What are the main ingredients in Zanahorias Aliñadas? The key ingredients that define Zanahorias Aliñadas include fresh carrots, apple cider vinegar, oregano, garlic (optional in some recipes), and olive oil. These ingredients come together to create a refreshing salad with a balance of sweet, tangy, and earthy flavors.
  • How should the carrots be prepared for Zanahorias Aliñadas? For the best texture and flavor in Zanahorias Aliñadas, carrots should first be peeled and then blanched in boiling water until they are just tender but still retain some crunch. Immediately after blanching, they’re plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve their vibrant color. The carrots are then sliced or cut into sticks, depending on preference, before being marinated in the dressing.
  • Can Zanahorias Aliñadas be made in advance? Yes, Zanahorias Aliñadas is actually better when made in advance. Preparing it ahead of time allows the carrots to marinate and absorb the dressing, enhancing the flavors of the dish. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, making it a perfect make-ahead side dish for meals or entertaining.
  • What are some variations or additional ingredients that can be added to Zanahorias Aliñadas? While the traditional recipe for Zanahorias Aliñadas is cherished for its simplicity, some variations include adding finely chopped garlic, parsley, or a pinch of cumin for extra flavor. Additionally, red pepper flakes can be added for a hint of heat, or sherry vinegar may be used instead of apple cider vinegar for a different acidic profile. However, the essence of the dish lies in its balance of the core ingredients: carrots, vinegar, oregano, and olive oil.
Sharing this recipe and my journey of discovery has been a means of bridging cultures through food, inviting others to experience the joy of simple yet sophisticated cooking. As both a celebration of natural ingredients and a testament to the beauty of Spanish cooking, Zanahorias Aliñadas is more than just a salad; it is a vibrant reminder of the adventures that await in the exploration of global cuisines, encouraging us to savor each flavor and cherish the stories behind them.


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