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Seasons’ Eatings: Moroccan Carrot Salad

2012 March 24

by Brianna Bain

San Diego, Ca – It seems the carrot has rooted its way through most of Winter and right on into spring. Relaying for its 4th consecutive week the crunchy, fabulous and often wing manned vegetable is the center of this week’s dish. The traditional orange carrot is so often overlooked in its quality to carry it’s own but this week we focus on it in all it’s  raw glory! Last week Amri concocted a Dalcha – Malaysian Lentil Curry with Vegetables that has set me off on my need for good spice! I am a sucker for spice and there ain’t nothi’n like Moroccan spices that get me  as crazy about food as they do. Amri’s use of carrot, cinnamon and curry powder set the tone for my dish, unfloding into a cold carrot salad perfect for any Spring festivity.

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It all started with a carrot slaw that my Dad used to make – shredded carrot, celery seed, sweet creamy sauce and raisins, Soo good! But these days I steer away from mayonnaise in my salads except for the occasional ultimate tuna salad sandwich of course! I decided on a blend of my favorite flavors while reaching for those seasonal ingredients. Carrot parsley, garlic habanero and of course a hint of Moroccan flare with the warm rich spices of cinnamon, cumin and paprika.

There is something so enticing about a cold spicy salad for me. Spice always gets the better of me when I eat it hot (temperature wise), so this salad is meant to be cold, flavorful and with a heat that will keep you going back for more. A mixture of fresh vibrant colors and a taste that will keep you just slightly on your toes for the beginning of Spring.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Yield: 6

Prep time: 30 minutes + marinating time 2hours to 2 days

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (I used parsley)
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 1/2 teaspoon  of chopped habanero (optional)  or you can use your favorite heat, try one of these – harissa (Northwest African chili paste), 1 tablespoon minced green chilies, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients
  • Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days to allow the flavors to meld and permeate the carrots
  • Served chilled