In a time when iceberg lettuce reigned supreme, and few Americans had even heard of other options, Mom was ahead of her time once again. She recognized very early that iceberg contained far fewer nutrients than the darker colored salad greens did, so we were introduced quite young to many other options, including the aforementioned escarole, as well as romaine, spinach, chicory, and Boston lettuce.
But there were times when Mom provided variety in the salad category. Homemade coleslaw and carrot and raisin salad were all on the menu from time to time, or weekly, as in the case of coleslaw.
I cannot remember if there were specific occasions when carrot and raisin salad was called for; I just know it was a regular side dish and part and parcel of Mom’s concerted effort to expose us to as many different types of food as possible, particularly in the vegetable and fruit categories.
You can use just about any spice, or flavor you’d like, or substitute a flavored yogurt for all or part of the plain one listed in the ingredients. I just happen to find the combination of ginger and maple to be one I enjoy.
I like this salad option with various meals, but especially for any that include Indian spices, and for any that include pancakes, such as my Buckwheat Pancakes (recipe here). Its bright colors and accompanying nutrition are a nice addition to many a meal.
It’s a very easy side dish to make, and it’s also cheap. Total cost of the recipe that makes about 8 servings is around $2.00, or 25¢ per serving.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes about 8-10 servings
Start to Finish Prep Time – About 10 minutes
Total Recipe Cost – Approximately $2.00-$2.50
Total Per Serving Cost – Approximately 25¢-35¢
For the Salad:
4-6 large carrots (approximately 1 pound)
1-2 stalks celery
¼-½ cup raisins
For the Dressing:
¼-½ cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise, or mixture of the two
2 teaspoons balsamic or vinegar of choice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoons maple flavored pancake syrup or sugar (to taste)
Recipe continues after pictures.
- Wash and peel or scrub the 4-6 carrots, and slice them lengthwise into at least 4 narrow strips.
- If you have good knife skills, you can chop the carrots, or you can simply cut across the strips to create a finely chopped consistency and pieces about ⅛-¼-inch in size. You want to make about 2 ½-3 cups.
- Wash the 1-2 celery stalks and cut off both ends. Slice it lengthwise into about 4 strips. Chop them, or simply cut across the strips to create a finely chopped consistency, about ⅛-¼-inch in size. This will make about ½-1 cup.
- Mix the carrots, celery and ½ cup of raisins together in a bowl.
- Mix the ½-¾ cup of yogurt, the ½ teaspoon of ginger, and the 2 teaspoons of maple flavored pancake syrup together in a separate bowl.
- Scrape the yogurt onto the carrot mixture.
- Stir the ingredients together to coat everything well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.