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.
I've never added raisins to my carrot salads, but will try now. I just grate carrots, and add chopped apple and either walnuts or pecans, with a little thinned out mayonnaise. Just discovered your blog!
Found the recipe last night. Tried it today. Yummy. Nice twist. AND (since the store was out of ginger root) I now have a jar of minced ginger that I will have to find some uses for
This is something I buy in the supermarket regularly, but think I'll have to start making it at home now. Your recipe seems to simple, now hopefully it is.
A friend of mine gave me her Luby's cookbook from when she cooked there. She says they used to mix their mayo with powdered sugar to give it that special sweet taste! I just know that I always loved theirs. I'm going to try your version too.
Adding this to my Thanksgiving meal. My mother would make this for me was I was a young girl. Thanks for the quick trip down memory lane … it will be such a small way to honor her memory.
Michelle–You’re welcome! What a sweet memory!