Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carrot Salad

It's party season. Amazingly, this puts me in an awkward position. My collection of recipes is growing quickly, but I don't have many recipes that I can throw together quickly for a holiday party. Enter carrot salad debate.

So... I had never eaten carrot salad in my life. It was something you'd see on salad bars or on the plates of the old church ladies. It looked weird and gross. It usually has raisins in it and a creamy dressing which gives it this weird glossy look that says "this is disgusting". But... I found myself with some carrots in my fridge that desperately needed to be used up. I debated on just cooking them and tossing them with butter and brown sugar, but for whatever reason - carrot salad was calling to me.

So I did it. I freaking made carrot salad. And you know what... it's not that bad! Yes, it wasn't gobbled up completely - but I would say that everyone gave it a fair shot and I even witnessed someone going back for more. So that was good enough for me! This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I pulled off the Food Network's website. I think what stood out to me in this recipe was the pineapple and lack of Indian spices. Apparently the rage of carrot salad is "Indian spiced". I will say that this would taste pretty good wrapped up in a tortilla with some turkey. This recipe also claims it serves two or three, but that's only if you are going to be eating a large amount. I thought it would be perfect for a dinner party because everyone would just want a spoon full so they could leave room for the other goodies. In fact, I calculated nutrition info as 6 servings. Because honestly, who is going to eat half a pound of carrot salad?

This was also super easy to make. No cooking required! Every home cook has a bag of carrots sitting in the fridge, so this is perfect when you realize at 6:15 you didn't prepare anything for your 7:00 party. I used yogurt instead of mayo for my mayo hating friends and I used regular raisins instead of golden because they were in my pantry. I used fresh pineapple because I have a good enough knife to cut it and it's in season right now. You could buy the pre-cut fresh or canned pineapple and it should be just fine. I shredded carrots in my (very) old Salad Shooter, plumped up the raisins, and dumped all of it with the dressing mix in a bowl and mixed it together. I added a lot more pineapple than was called for in the recipe, because I figured if anything people could pretend to like it by eating the pineapple. Ta da! And I was ready to go out the door.

Have you found yourself making or eating something you relegated to retro recipes? The kinds of things you always saw grandma loving, but swore you'd never eat. Did you realize that they aren't that bad? Share your retro food finds in the comments section!

Carrot Salad
(Serves Six)

1/3 cup golden raisins
1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup diced fresh pineapple

1. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then drain.

2. Fit a food processor with the grating blade. Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides. Process in batches. Place the grated carrots in a medium bowl, add the lemon juice and toss.

3. For the dressing, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the carrots and add the pineapple and raisins. Toss together and serve

Nutrition Info:
Calories - 167
Fat - 9g
Fiber - 3g

1 comment:

  1. I have these vague memories of my mother making carrot salad. The funny thing is in my mind I don't think I liked it but I can not remember for certain. I think I might like your version with the pineapple and yogurt. I don't like mayo based salads!