I never was a fan of carrot-raisin salads. Why mix those ingredients with a mayonnaise-based dressing? This recipe rethinks that approach. Out with the creamy dressing and in with a fresh, citrus version. A generous portion of golden raisins boosts the sweetness naturally.
If possible, use a box grater for the carrots. The food processor won’t grate as evenly.
Carrot, Raisin and Toasted Pecan Salad
Zest of 1 large orange
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots, grated
1 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped (4 ounces)
½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (2 ounces; see note)
Whisk together the orange zest, juice and honey in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to form an emulsified vinaigrette.
Add the carrots, raisins and pecans, and toss to incorporate. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Let the salad sit for 15 minutes, then stir before serving.
Makes 5½ to 6 cups (6 to 8 servings).
Note: Toast the pecans in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using.