Carrot Vinaigrette is my version of that cafeteria staple – carrot and raisin salad. Carrot and raisin salad is served nationwide, not just in the south and in all those places it’s served in pretty much the same style – grated carrot and black raisins bound with a little mayonnaise. Unfortunately the mayo tends to get runny at warp speed and unless you’re the sort of person who just likes raw carrots it’s a little bland and cloying.
I wanted something that was healthy, tasty, and would survive a few days in the fridge. So I started experimenting with different methods of preparation. Each version had less and less mayo until I finally jettisoned it altogether. That took cared of the watery milky residue at the bottom of the bowl. It remained only to punch up the flavor of the two main ingredients. This is accomplished by mixing up a fruit flavored vinaigrette seasoned with red pepper flakes and lots of orange zest. If you add enough zest it almost tastes like candy and you still have all the nice slices of orange to add to the side. The parsley contributes more flavor than you might imagine, and best of all, the vinaigrette keeps the carrots fresh and the raisins plump.
And yes, it lasts for several days in the fridge and yes, there’s a good chance that family members who don’t like salads or vegetables will like this so give it a try. You can enjoy it at supper or for a guilt free midnight fridge raid.
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup fruit flavored balsamic vinegar (or 3 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar & honey)
- ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes
- zest from one orange
- ⅓ cup raisins
- For the salad:
- 3 cups shredded carrot (about .80 lb.)
- ⅓ cup parsley, minced
- Peeled & sectioned orange
- Make the vinaigrette and soak the raisins in it for at least an hour or overnight.
- Grate the carrots on a box grater.
- Finely chop the parsley and mix throughout.
- Peel and section the orange & serve alongside the salad.
For a more savory version replace the parsley with chopped chives.
Keeps in the fridge for several days.