Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad: picture Tal Ronnen
There is a wonderful Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia called Zahav – and we had the pleasure to sample many wonderful dishes with associate Serious Foodies Lisa and Randy. There were many outstanding dishes, many of which were vegetarian – but the standout was their spicy carrot salad (see last recipe below).
We came across a few recipes this weekend, and wanted to share with our readers – they are simple and elegant, the type of dish you want to do for a party or your significant other. We are reprinting our favorites, and we hope that you’ll be intrigued enough to try a few.
Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad
- 1 ½ pounds small rainbow carrots (about 24), tops trimmed
- 8 dried red chilies, such as guajillo, stems removed
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup micro greens (or Spring mix)
- ¼ cup toasted Marcona almonds, smashed with a mallet or heavy pan
- Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
- To prepare carrots bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with water and adding a tray of ice cubes.
- Blanch the carrots in the boiling water until tender when pierced with a knife, about 3 minutes. Drain the carrots and plunge into the ice bath to shock them—i.e., stop the cooking and cool them quickly; this procedure also locks in the carrots’ bright color.
- Drain the carrots again. You want them to be relatively uniform in size, so if any of them are large, cut them lengthwise in half.
- Put a small, dry skillet over low heat, add the chilies, and toast for 1 or 2 minutes; shake the pan so they don’t scorch. Break up the chilies and put them in a food processor. Pulse the chilies to a coarse powder; you should have about ½ cup.
- Put the chili powder in a mixing bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and whisk until blended. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil in a stream until emulsified.
- Put the carrots in a mixing bowl and pour in the chili mixture, tossing to coat. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours, tossing periodically.
- Crisscross the carrots on a platter. Scatter the micro greens and almonds on top and season with flaked sea salt.
Moroccan Carrot-Blood Orange Salad
- 1 pound carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and trimmed
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Large pinch cayenne
- 4 medium blood oranges
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ¼ cup pitted, oil-cured olives, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Quarter the carrots lengthwise and cut each length crosswise into 2-inch chunks. With a mortar and pestle or using the side of a knife, lightly crush the cumin, coriander and fennel. Spread carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, crushed spices, 3/4 teaspoon salt and cayenne. Transfer to oven and roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, grate zest of 1 orange into a small bowl. Whisk in garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil.
- Slice the tops and bottoms from each orange. Stand each orange on a flat surface and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following curve of the fruit. Hold oranges over a large bowl and slice away fruit between the membranes, releasing segments into the bowl.
- Toss carrots, arugula and olives into the bowl. Gently toss in dressing. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice if necessary.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (and seeded, if you want less heat)
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
- 2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, chilled
- Peel the carrots and cut them, depending on their size, into cylinders or semicircles one-half-inch thick; all the pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender but still crunchy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to dry out.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion over medium heat until soft and slightly brown, about 12 minutes. Add the cooked carrots to the onion, followed by the sugar, garlic, chile, onion, cloves, ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, vinegar and preserved lemon.
- Remove from the heat. Season liberally with salt, stir well and leave to cool.
- Before serving, stir in the cilantro, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of oil and a garnish of the extra cilantro.
Zahav Moroccan Carrot Salad
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- 5 large carrots (1 1/2 pounds), halved crosswise
- Kosher salt
- 1 orange—1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 lemon—1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 jalapeño—halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic, cumin and caraway and cook over moderately low heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the carrots, a generous pinch of salt and enough water to just cover the carrots and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, turning once, until crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the carrots to a plate. Let cool completely, then cut into 1/2-inch rounds.
- Meanwhile, boil the braising liquid over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in the orange and lemon zest and juice.
- In a serving bowl, toss the carrots with the jalapenos and the reduced braising liquid and season with salt. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Stir in the cilantro and mint and serve.