… and to go with those Fourth of July Burgers: Carrot-Raisin Salad and Strawberry Lemonade

A word about the dressing:  Don’t even think about using expensive olive here, it would be a waste – the mustard, honey and cider vinegar are big flavors and they’d just run roughshod over good olive oil.

The recipe for the salad follows.  And if you’d like a nice non-alcoholic drink, take a look at my recipe for Strawberry Lemonade – it’s on the Parade magazine website

GRATED CARROT SALAD

Makes 4 servings

1 pound carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola, grapeseed or other flavorless oil
Moist, plump currants or raisins, optional
Coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
Chopped parsley, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

The carrots need to be grated, a job you can do by hand using the large holes of a box grater, or by push-button using the grating blade of a food processor.  Either way, if the grating has caused the carrots to weep, give them a quick press between your palms to rid them of excess liquid before you toss the pieces into a serving bowl.

If you’ve used a processor, keep it plugged in and make the dressing in it; if not, use a small jar.  Put the mustard, honey, vinegar and oil in the processor or jar, season with salt and pepper, and whir or shake until blended – you’ll have a thick, smooth vinaigrette.

Toss the carrots with the currants, and nuts, if you’re using these ingredients, and then, just before serving, pour over the dressing, toss the salad well and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.  If you’re using the parsley, add it last.

Serving:  Whether this is a solo starter, a part of a crudité plate or a side to a casual main, it’s best served at room temperature or just slightly chilled. And while I like the salad best right after it’s been dressed, when the carrots still have a teensy bit of crunch, the French fashion is for a softer salad, one that’s been left to macerate for bit.  Either way, you’ll get the color, flavor and piquancy.

Storing:  While you can grate the carrots ahead and keep them covered and chilled, and you can certainly make the vinaigrette up to 3 days ahead, the dressed salad should be eaten within a few hours.

Dorie Greenspan

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