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The Vegetarian

Greens Shortage Can't Wilt the Imagination

February 04, 1988|DIANA SHAW | Shaw is free-lance writer in Los Angeles.

This hasn't been a great year for greens. In fact, it's been so bad that several area supermarkets have posted signs above their scant produce selections, blaming early frosts for low supplies and high prices. It's been so bad that when I went shopping prepared to pay the going rate for greens, I couldn't find a single leafy green thing worthy of dressing.

Picking through the browning icebergs and wilting romaines, I knew that I'd have to forsake conventional salad combinations. Across the aisle from the limp lettuce were the sturdy survivors of the salad scourge. Carrots peeled, grated and bathed in pungent dressings can make a flavorful and nourishing side dish.

CARROT-GINGER SALAD WITH RAISINS AND SOUR CREAM

1 cup golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root

1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Grated peel of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 cups carrots, peeled and grated

Honey, optional

Thinly sliced green onions

Cover raisins with hot water and let stand 20 minutes, until plump. Drain. Mix ginger, sour cream, lemon peel and lemon juice. Combine carrots, raisins and sour cream mixture. Toss well. Taste, adding honey to sweeten. Sprinkle with green onions. Chill 3 hours before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from "Tassajara Recipe Book" by Edward Espe Brown (Shambala Press, 1985).

AVOCADO AND CARROT SALAD

1 large avocado

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 pound carrots, peeled and grated

Juice of 1 orange

1/3 cup golden raisins

Minced fresh cilantro

Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Peel away outer skin, being sure to leave fruit intact. Slice into thin strips and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix together grated carrot, orange juice and raisins. Distribute avocado slices evenly on 4 plates. Top with carrot mixture and garnish with sprinkling of cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

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