Go Beyond Lettuce: Creamy Carrot and Pistachio Salad
Sometimes it's better to move beyond lettuce and get out of the salad rut. Creamy Carrot and Pistachio Salad is a great way to leaf out. Sorry. Really, though, the carrot salad is unusual, nutritious, and perfect for warmer weather. It's creamy and tangy with a yogurt dressing and subtle spices like lemony coriander and warm cumin. Lemon juice adds extra sharpness as well as citrus flavor. A bit of honey and a handful of golden raisins tame any bitterness, and chopped cilantro provides additional freshness. Finally, pistachio nuts provide a buttery crunch to the salad. One thing to keep in mind--the salad is made with ground/grated carrots rather than the shredded variety. That gives the salad a nubby texture, more like couscous or bulgur. And if you want to serve the carrot salad atop lettuce greens, that's really okay--even good!
Creamy Carrot and Pistachio Salad -- Serves 4+
4 cups of ground carrots (about 12 ounces--use the S-blade of your food processor for ease)
1/2 - 1 cup of plain, fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
2-3 tablespoons of honey (depending on how sweet you want the salad)
1 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup of toasted/roasted pistachio nuts
In a large bowl, mix the carrots, 1/2 cup of yogurt, the oil, lime juice, honey, coriander, cumin and onion powder until everything is well combined. Add more yogurt, a little at a time, until the salad reaches the consistency you like. Stir in the raisins and pistachio nuts. Refrigerate the salad until you're ready to serve it. The salad gets better as it sits in the refrigerator and the flavors meld, but the nuts won't be as crunchy. If you'd like, you can refrigerate the salad before you add the nuts and add them just before you serve the salad.