Carrot salad with raisins, pineapple, mint, and spices. Cold salads are perfect for a hot summer.
Step 1: Shred Carrots and Add Pineapple
A couple of weeks ago it actually got HOT here in the bay area, where air conditioning is unknown and usually unnecessary. We sat around all melty, looking for excuses to open freezer. Running the stove or oven was right out, so we revisited the grand world of cold salads and other uncooked food. This carrot salad is one of my favorites.
Grate two pounds of carrots. I used the shredder blade in my food processor, but you Luddites can certainly hand-grate your carrots.
Add 2 cans of crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks. Make sure that your pineapple is packed in juice, not syrup, as you're adding the liquid too.
Obviously you can halve this recipe if you like, but I'm going to keep running with these proportions to ensure leftovers.
Step 2: Add Raisins
Add about one cup of raisins. Golden raisins are also fine, but don't provide as much contrast. (Or look as much like beetles.) Currants definitely look like beetles.
Stir them around to make sure the raisin/carrot ratio works for you.
Step 3: Add Lime Juice
Add the juice of one fresh lime. The stuff in the bottle does not count.
Step 4: Add Mint
Coarsely chop a small handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly 2T. Again, dried mint or mint flavoring are not acceptable substitutes.
Mint is a tenacious weed, known for sneaking out of pots and into cracks in sidewalks and foundations. Your neighbors will probably love to let you steal some from their yards.
Step 5: Add Dry Spices
Add a teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, and coriander. Stir and adjust seasonings to taste. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors.
Step 6: Add Ginger
Step 7: Refrigerate Then Serve
Stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. The flavors will mingle and mature while the raisins plump up and look frightening.
Carrot salad is great to bring to summer picnics, and will only improve by being made ahead. The taste gets better as the days go by. This picture was taken after two days in the refrigerator. When I took the lid off the awesome spice/fruit smell just about knocked me over.
Optional addition: shredded coconut.