When Life Gives You Carrots, Make Carrot Salad

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This is a VERY quick and simple salad.  I love that it is a winter salad that brightens up a meal.

I made it one day recently when we had a meeting for church and I had signed up to bring a salad for our meal.  I was looking in my fridge- digging through the drawers, looking for something that I could use to whip up a salad and not have to go to the grocery.  I had a huge bag of baby carrots that my mom had passed along to me when she was leaving for a trip and giving me her produce.  I thought, “oooh, some kind of slaw, or better yet, carrot salad”!  I was thinking the kind Chick-fil-A used to serve.  Then I went to my trusty source, The Joy of Cookingto see if there was a recipe- and of course, there was.  What surprised me was the inclusion of chopped nuts and ever more surprising was the LEMON! I thought that carrots and lemon being both on the bitter side might not work, but knew to trust this source.  So, I made it.

It exceeded my expectations! Now, I was very aware that it would not be the most sought-after salad on the pot luck table, but I was glad it checked the box of salad for which I had committed.  And, my prediction was correct.  I’ll just say, there was plenty left at the end of the evening! As I was leaving with my quasi-full bowl of carrot salad, my friend Emily saw the bowl and said, “Was that YOUR salad? I loved it! I described it to my table as life-giving!”

Yippee! I agree.  I think it is vibrant! Life-giving- so bright and colorful and sweet and crunchy and full of those healthy shredded carrots in every bite.  I got to have a bowl for lunch for the next 3 days- as my “main dish”! It keeps well for several days which is an added bonus, since most salads don’t keep too well. It never got soggy, just juicier.

Carrot Salad

adapted from The Joy of Cooking

6 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (or a 1 pound bag of baby carrots, grated)

1 cup golden raisins (or 1/2 cup raisins/1/2 cup dried cranberries)

1/2 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds

the juice of one lemon

the zest of one lemon

coarse salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup sour cream or light mayonnaise or greek yogurt (or a combination of these)

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DSC_1125Combine all ingredients but the last (sour cream) in a medium bowl.  Stir together.

Pour sour cream over and toss well.  Serve, or cover and refrigerate. Serve cold.

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Tweak it as you like- add or delete. Or if this sounds unappealing to you, ditch it all together but maybe you can look deep into your refrigerator and find some surplus produce and look for a recipe to make with it. You might have a lemonade out of lemons moment.

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