MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD

I love carrots but have a problem with eating them raw, cannot quite wrap my mind around the harsh texture. In fact, when I see carrot sticks playing as crackers next to a nice bowl of hummus, I feel a bit sad. In this salad, raw carrots are grated and mellowed down by spending some time in a nice dressing with one of my favorite ingredients, pomegranate molasses.  It is absolutely delicious, and even a person with my anti-raw carrot approach will love it. Trust me.

MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD
(adapted from many sources)

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup dried dates, thinly sliced
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Prepare the dressing by mixing in a bowl the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, turmeric, paprika and salt.  Pour the olive oil whisking constantly. Add the chopped dates. Reserve while you process the carrots.

Shred the carrots in a food processor or grating by hand.  Add the carrots and olives to the dressing/dates mixture, and mix well. Leave it to stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Add the toasted almonds, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top, adjust seasoning and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Cannot praise this simple salad enough. One of the things I love most about it is that it is still good next day. How many salads stand an overnight sleep in the fridge? Not that many. Well, maybe if you have more rabbit genes than me, you could find the texture next day a bit too soft, but I doubt it. Still delicious. Pomegranate molasses brings the right amount of sharpness and sweetness, it all goes together beautifully. And don’t skip the pomegranate seeds, they please the eyes and the palate!

Between writing this post and publishing it, I made this salad again. Second time around I used Ras-El-Hanout instead of turmeric, skipped the paprika, and added thinly sliced green apples instead of green olives. Another version, same deliciousness…

 

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MOROCCAN COOKED CARROT SALAD

Simple. Quick. Delicious.  From a cookbook that I highly recommend, Mediterranean Fresh, by Joyce Goldstein.   The secret is in the dressing, that pairs citrus and cumin, giving the carrots a very subtle background of heat.   Do not skip toasting the cumin seeds.  In recipes with so few ingredients, you need to bring out the best in each of them, and toasting spices does just that, makes them talk to you loud and clear.



MOROCCAN COOKED CARROT SALAD

(adapted from Mediterranean Fresh)

1/2 cup mixed citrus dressing (recipe follows)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seed, ground
2 Tbs sugar
1 pound carrots
salt to taste
fresh parsley, minced

Mixed citrus dressing
Whisk together all these ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar, if needed (I omitted)
salt and pepper

Toast whole cumin seeds using a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, moving them constantly to avoid burning. Let them cool slightly, and grind them. Mix the citrus dressing with the spices and sugar.

Peel the carrots and cut in thin slices. Cook in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, or until they start to get tender, but do not overcook. Drain and toss with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning, and add minced parsley just before serving.   Serve warm or at room temperature.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If this salad does not appeal to you because you are not fond of carrots, consider making the dressing, because it will go quite well on many veggies as well as composed salads. I can envision my default method to cook asparagus getting a boost from this mixed citrus dressing at the end. The original recipe called for three tablespoons of sugar, I used only two, as carrots are naturally sweet already.

The recipe serves 4 to 6 people, I scaled it down for the two of us, but next time I’ll make a full batch to have leftovers. We had just a tiny bit left, which was still wonderful next day, but left me craving for more.