Carrot Salad with Moroccan Spices

by Lynne on January 28, 2010

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Carrot-Salad-with-Moroccan-SpicesThanksgiving is the one holiday of the year where I cook a big feast for the whole family, which can vary from five to twenty people, depending on who is in town. What makes cooking this meal a challenge are the dietary quirks of just about everyone. Some people don’t drink alcohol; some don’t eat cheese; one can’t eat fat (no gallbladder – I know, too much information); some are diabetic. But the biggest challenge is the group of vegetarians. I am a die-hard carnivore, and I like to plan a meal around the meat, with the vegetable dishes as a complement to it. With no meat, I flounder around trying to think up enough dishes so that everyone will be full and satisfied.

This year it turned out that all the vegetarians came on Thursday, and the carnivores came over on Friday, so it worked out great. Friday I roasted a turkey, with dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and all the beautiful vegetable dishes from Thursday. Everyone got stuffed to groaning both days, and I was so happy to have put them into that state.

So my Thanksgiving 2009 menu was:

Crostini with Kalamata Olive Tapenade and Ricotta Cheese
Cheezy Mini Biscuits with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Mushroom Soup
Cheesy Onion Bread

Carrot Salad with Moroccan Spices
Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Butter
Leeks Au Gratin Parmigiano
Corn Spoon Bread
Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Pumpkin Cheesecake

I didn’t serve the Carrot Salad in those little shot glasses. It was in a big bowl. But the little glasses are much more fun for the photograph. And, yes, that was their real color.

Cooked Carrot Salad with Moroccan Spices

1 pound carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced into ¼-inch thick half circles
½ cup water
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 ½ teaspoons raz el hanout or Moroccan spice blend (see below)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
½ cup red onion, finely slivered
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, slivered
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

1. Combine the carrots, water and garlic in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until carrots are crisp tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Uncover carrots and simmer over medium-low heat to evaporate any excess water. Transfer to a serving bowl and cool slightly.

3. Sprinkle the raz el hanout into a small skillet and heat until the spice mixture releases its aroma, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

4. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt into the spices until blended.

5. Add dressing, red onion, olives and cilantro to the carrots and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature up to 2 hours, or until ready to eat.

Moroccan Spice Blend

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Combine all spices in a small bowl and use 1 ½ teaspoon of mixture in recipe above.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

chocolate shavings February 21, 2010 at 4:29 am

Those carrots looks delicious, and nice presentation!

Keesha aka Prissycook February 21, 2010 at 7:17 am

I’m going to experiment and adapt this recipe and pickle some carrots using the spice blend you shared in this post. Beautiful pictures and I agree the shot glasses were a fun way to photograph the dish.

deana@lostpastremembered February 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm

These look so gorgeous… love that you put them in glasses… that color is spectacular!

Ann Chamberlin February 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I served this carrot dish warm as a side to the Moraccan-Style Chicken Pie from at a dinner party for 12. The carrots complemented the Chicken Pie well.
The best part was that I made them both a head of time.

Stella March 3, 2010 at 9:47 am

Hi Lynne, Moroccan and Algerian are two of my favorite cuisines. And your carrots look really wonderful. I’ll be sure to try them soon (beets are on the menu today).

Carolyn Jung March 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

I’ve made something similar — only served it hot as a side dish. Wonderful idea to serve it chilled as a salad, especially in summer.

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