For the Love of Carrots – Moroccan Carrot Salads

Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad: picture courtesy of Tal Ronnen

[Updated December 28, 2020]

There is a wonderful Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia called Zahav, created by the brilliant chef Michael Solomonov.  Pre-COVID, we had the pleasure to sample many wonderful dishes, many of which were vegetarian. One of the standouts was their spicy carrot salad, which became the inspiration behind this blog (see last recipe below).

We came across a few similar recipes, and came up with a few of our own. These are simple and elegant, the type of dish you want to do for a party or your significant other.  They can be made as appetizers, side dishes – or vegetarian main courses.  We are reprinting our favorites, and we hope that you’ll be intrigued enough to try a few.


Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad

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Recipe Type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Moroccan
Author: Tal Ronnen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Serves 4
This recipe was found at the Joy of Kosher website (click HERE  for the original version). Recipe reprinted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Put the carrots in a mixing bowl and pour in the chili mixture, tossing to coat. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours, tossing periodically.
  7. 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

Recipe Type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Moroccan
Author: Serious Foodie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Rub

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  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 medium blood oranges (tangerines, or mandarin oranges also work well)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup pitted, oil-cured olives, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Quarter the carrots lengthwise and cut each length crosswise into 2-inch chunks. Spread carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon Serious Foodie Moroccan blend, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to oven and roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, grate zest of 1 orange into a small bowl. Whisk in garlic, 1 teaspoon Serious Foodie Moroccan blend, and lemon juice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Recipe Type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Moroccan
Author: Serious Foodie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Servers 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and trimmed
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Rub

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  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions, cut on the bias
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped – optional (and seeded, if you want less heat)
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Quarter the carrots lengthwise and cut each length crosswise into 2-inch chunks. Spread carrots and onions on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon Serious Foodie Moroccan blend, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to oven and roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan and sauté the scallion and garlic over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked carrots and onions, followed by the optional serrano pepper, and stir together for about 1 minute. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, then add the preserved lemon.
  4. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir well and leave to cool.
  5. 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.

 


Discovery Book

Zahav Moroccan Carrot Salad

Recipe Type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Israeli
Author: Michael Solomonov
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Serves 4
This is version from Michael Solomonov at his wonderful Philly restaurant Zahav

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

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