Moroccan Carrots

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

One Good Dish

By David Tanis

Published 2013

  • About

A common Moroccan salad is made with cooked and coarsely mashed carrots. I first learned about it reading Paula Wolfert’s cookbooks, then sampled it during my own travels to North Africa. Sparked with lemon and fragrant with toasted spices, it’s an easy dish to love. Look for preserved lemons at Middle Eastern groceries or make your own.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Large pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces feta cheese or ricotta salata, crumbled
  • A handful of olives
  • 1 small preserved lemon, rinsed, pulp removed and discarded, rind diced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion

    Method

    Put the carrots in a pot of well-salted water, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.

    Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Coarsely grind the seeds in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.

    To make the vinaigrette, put the lemon juice in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, garlic, ginger, and cayenne. Whisk in the olive oil.

    Put the carrots in a bowl and, using a potato masher, crush them a bit, leaving them fairly chunky. Dress with the vinaigrette and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the crumbled cheese and olives. Sprinkle with the preserved lemon, if using, the cilantro, and scallion.