saladsside dishes

Get Your Grub On

By 03/13/2023April 12th, 2023No Comments

It’s that time again folks! Yep…it’s SALAD time! If you’re new around these parts, one thing you should know about me is that…I LOVE SALAD! I eat salad practically every day, so creating Halloween food that I like to eat is the whole point of this little corner of the internet and in my humble opinion, there just aren’t enough Halloween salads in the world. I consider it my mission to rectify this obvious shortcoming. 😉

That being said, I offer up this creepy crawly salad idea using carrots that I’ve Hassel backed to mimic the look of segmented grubs and oven roasted them until they were caramelized, and tender. Then I tossed these sweet little morsels with spiced squid ink couscous, tart cranberries, nutty pumpkin seeds, and cilantro and topped the whole thing with a citrus ginger dressing. It is frighteningly delicious, so let’s get our grub on!

Get Your Grub On

Get your grub on this Halloween with a creepy crawly salad of roasted carrots, spiced couscous, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds tossed in a delicious honey citrus dressing.
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Halloween Food
Keyword: carrots, couscous, cranberries, Halloween, pumpkin seeds, squid ink couscous
Servings: 6


  • 1 pair of chopsticks


Grubs in Dirt Salad

  • 1 lb. Baby Carrots, Hassel backed and roasted (Grubs)
  • 1 Spiced Couscous (see below)
  • Citrus Ginger dressing (see below)
  • Cilantro, minced (garnish)

Citrus Ginger Dressing

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 medium Meyer lemon, zest and juice (~¼ cup) (or substitute with a small orange)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. each of cumin and coriander

Spiced Couscous (Dirt)

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. each of cumin and coriander
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • cup squid ink couscous (or regular couscous)
  • cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, finely grated
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare Citrus Ginger dressing by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Roasted Carrots (Grubs)

  • Place baby carrot between two chopsticks on a cutting board. Use a chef knife to cut small cuts along the length of each carrot allowing the chopstick to stop the knife from cutting all the way through the carrot. Place Hassel backed carrots into a medium bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the citrus dressing. Transfer carrots to a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the carrots out of the oven and remove foil. Baste the carrots with a little dressing and return the carrots, uncovered, to the oven. Roast for an additional 25-30 minutes or until they are caramelized and tender. While the carrots roast, prepare the spiced couscous.

Spiced Couscous (Dirt)

  • In a large skillet with a lid, heat oil, cumin, coriander. cardamom and garlic over medium high heat until the spices and garlic are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add couscous, broth, ginger, bay, salt and pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and allow to cook over medium heat for the time indicated on couscous packaging, adding more broth if needed for desired tenderness. Toss in cranberries and pumpkin seeds and set aside until the carrots are done.
  • Toss grubs with prepared spiced couscous and the rest of the citrus dressing and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with extra pumpkin seeds and cranberries. This dish is can be served warm or room temperature. Enjoy!


Re-imagined recipe from Castellon's Kitchen

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