Carrot and raisin salad
The end of February can be a very tiring time. You’re tired of wearing that long, black, down-filled coat that keeps you warm but makes you look like a stack of tires. You’re tired of the sun staying in the sky longer without generating any extra heat. And you’re tired of seeing at the farmer’s market only potatoes, winter squash, and carrots. Fortunately, with the carrots you can make a sweet salad that holds a promise of warmer days to come: carrot and raisin salad.
I’m a late convert to carrot and raisin salad. When I was in college I had a friend who would go nuts whenever they put some out on the salad bar. She’d eat bowl after bowl and I’d just be horrified. Who wants to eats shredded carrots with raisins? It just seemed like a bad combination.
And then there were the endless church suppers where you could always find a big bowl of it in potluck purgatory alongside the green jiggling Jell-O and fruit salad made with tiny marshmallows. Nope, carrot and raisin salad just wasn’t for me.
But then, I grew up and my palate changed. I’ve started to enjoy raisins. And I’ve always loved carrots. So one day I decided to take the plunge and make a batch.
I looked at the recipe that Luby’s uses, which for many seemed to be the carrot and raisin gold standard. It called for copious amounts of mayonnaise, but I thought I’d lighten mine up with Greek-style yogurt. It also called for pineapple, but I had some fresh juicy oranges on-hand so I used orange juice instead. I added some ginger and cinnamon for spice and found myself with a sweet, crunchy salad that was both fresh and satisfying.
Carrot and raisin salad has been good company the past few weeks. I know that it’s something that people serve year round, but for me it’s become that bridge between late winter and early spring. And during these final tiring days of winter—bright, crisp carrot and raisin salad has proven itself to be delightful refreshment indeed.
What do you put in your carrot and raisin salad?
Carrot and raisin salad
- 3 large carrots shredded (2 cups)
- 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Can add more yogurt or mayonnaise to taste, as well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Wow, this brings me back. We had Morrison’s Cafeteria instead of Luby’s, and a bowl of this always made it on my tray. The only difference, I think, is that the version I ate had crushed pineapple (from a can, obvs.) in it. I love youe idea of using Greek yogurt. I may have to revisit this!
Sounds so yummy – with the cinnamon on this freezing cold day in Iowa. Thanks.
I love carrots. I love raisins. I must admit, though, I’ve never even been tempted to try carrot raisin salad! Until now. It sounds oddly refreshing. Especially the addition of a little OJ.
Love your blog! I’m a homesick Texan living in Northern Virginia.
Carrot Raisin salad is so yummy.Lots of color full of flavor, anti-oxidants. I like carrot salad that is Jelled into JELLO. I make it with shredded carrots, finely sliced celery, walnuts pieces and then put that in partially set Lime, Orange, or Lemon JELLO.
Sounds like ‘church basement’ potlucks that every church in Minnesota had when I was growing up…right down to the green jell-o! “And then there were the endless church suppers where you could always find a big bowl of it (carrot-raisin salad) in potluck purgatory alongside the green jiggling Jell-O and fruit salad made with tiny marshmallows.” At a Minnesota potluck, everyone brings ‘a dish to pass’, and casseroles are called ‘hotdishes’. Ann in Lansing, MI