Friday, April 24, 2009

Curried carrot raisin salad

I don't have a picture of this because my camera batteries died last night and I couldn't find another charged pair. But it's not much to look at anyway. I have always quite enjoyed Luby's cafeteria-style carrot raisin salad (shredded carrots, raisins, mayo, maybe some pineapple). The latest issue of Bon Appetit had a more mature carrot-raisin salad recipe, and I really like it. First of all, I prefer raw carrots to cooked, but they can be hard on the jaw. Shredded carrots are the way to go. Also, the mint really makes it sparkle, and the yogurt and lemon juice balance the sweetness of the carrots and raisins. I used to be somewhat against mint in non-dessert foods, but I've been coming around (having a ton of mint in my garden doesn't hurt), and I really like it in here. I don't think the amount they recommend is enough. Maybe just add that amount and keep adding more until you're happy with it. I think this salad would also be good, albeit very different, with any fresh-tasting herb in place of the mint. Parsley and cilantro are the obvious choices, although maybe basil or Thai basil could work too. I would like to experiment with it, but I like the mint so much that I might not be able to bring myself to try something else. I added a sprinkling of whole cumin seeds because I love cumin and can't get enough. The first time I made it, I added a little too much curry powder, and I think I added too little this time. But it's easy to just sprinkle a little more on at the table.

Curried carrot raisin salad, with my modifications in italics:
3/4 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced (I would use about twice that much, or to taste)
3/4-1 tsp curry powder, or to taste
1 lb carrots, peeled and grated (food processor is best for this)
1/4 cup raisins, or more to taste
Healthy sprinkling of whole cumin seeds, maybe 1/2 tsp

Whisk first four ingredients together in medium bowl. Add carrots and raisins and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and serve.

I served it with tortellini with a creamy, cheesy pea sauce. They didn't go together at all, but it was just what I wanted. That's why I love cooking at home. Restaurants would never serve curried carrot salad with tortellini and peas. They're bullies.

No comments: