“You don’t win friends with salad,” Homer Simpson once said. He obviously hadn’t sampled this longstanding recipe from Avihu Donde, who never sees leftovers when preparing it for his family.

The owner of gourmet nut stand Delinuts in South Melbourne Market, Donde learned how to make this bright and balanced salad from his mother. It’s incredibly simple, consisting of just shredded carrots, chopped chives, chunks of roasted pecans and roughly chopped dried cranberries. There aren’t any leafy greens, with the carrot providing the body of the dish.

The dressing is similarly straightforward and balances the sweetness of brown sugar with the kick of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and freshly grated garlic. You can also add some orange juice or pomegranate juice to finish, if you wish.

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“It’s a very moreish salad,” Donde says. “And it’s easy: the carrots are shredded, not julienned.”

The cranberries are perhaps the star of the dish. They add a vibrant red to the salad’s array of colours and, naturally low in sugar and packed with antioxidants, their tartness adds character to the familiar ingredients that surround them.

“The cranberries contrast with the sweetness of the salad, and the texture,” Donde says. “They bring a sourness and the pecans [add] the crunchiness. It’s a perfect combination.”

Donde says that while the salad can serve five, fewer people often polish it off in a single sitting. “You will want more,” he says.

Carrot, pecan and cranberry salad
Serves 5
Prep time: 15 minutes

700g carrots, peeled and shredded
25g chives, chopped
50g slow-roasted pecans, broken into big pieces
50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

For the dressing
60ml canola or sunflower oil
30ml balsamic vinegar
30g brown sugar (can be reduced to taste)
30g Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: orange juice or pomegranate juice to moisten

Mix all salad ingredients in a big bowl.

In a separate dish, combine dressing ingredients.

Pour dressing over salad before serving.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Ocean Spray.