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Author Notes: This side dish started when I was making a carrot cake one day and realized that my dry ingredients were pretty darn close to being an excellent salad. It's fast, easy to make and has a striking presentation. Served right away you'll get the crunch of toasted coconut, but it's equally delicious for the next 2 days. —Jenny the bear
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
- 1 pound carrots
- 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom or the crushed seeds of 1 pod.
- 1/2 cinnamon
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 tsp. dry
- Toast your entire bag of sweetened coconut over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Keep an eagle eye on the browning, because it can go from perfect to overdone in a second. Let it cool in the pan while you prepare the carrots. You can use unsweetened coconut, if you don't want the sugar. Since unsweetened coconut holds less moisture, expect to add a little more lemon juice or water to the salad later on.
- Wash and grate your entire pound of carrots into a large bowl. I don't peel carrots for carrot cake, so I don't peel them for this, but if unpeeled carrots would cause an uproar in your household, off with the peels!
- If using raisins, it's nice to give them a little soak to plump them up. I let mine sit 5-10 minutes in hot water or oolong tea if I'm being fancy. 5-10 minutes gives them a little boost; let them sit longer if you like them super plump.
- To your pile of carrot shreds, mix in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, the spices, the toasted coconut and raisins, if using. It should be nice & moist- if not, add more lemon juice or water.
- Variations: 1) Add 1 cup of toasted nut pieces- walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds 2) Substitute lime juice for the lemon and add 1 tsp of curry powder 3) Mix with softened cream cheese and butter for a tea-party sandwich filling