The salad season is a-coming. Picnics, barbecues, hot summer evenings - salad season, right? I didn't find this carrot salad during salad season. I made it to accompany a couscous with chicken and lamb and while I was putting it together, began to consider its advantages.
It's easy and doesn't require any cooking. It benefits from being made in advance. It's flexible - would you rather make thin carrot coins instead of shredding them? and other options shown in the recipe. No meat, no dairy, no eggs. It's simple enough that it's a good recipe for utilizing your fledgling kitchen elves as they start to learn how to cook. Oh, and it tastes good.
The recipe is from Gil Marks, in his book about vegetarian Jewish cooking Olive Trees and Honey. I include my own seasoning changes and mark them as such.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
1 lb. raw carrots, coarsely grated [Kitchen elves like to peel carrots, you will find. I grated them with my processor's medium shredding blade.]
1/4 c. vegetable or olive oil [I used less.]
3-4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice [I used a little less than 3.]
2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped [I used 2.]
1 tsp. ground cumin or 1/2 tsp ground cumin and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon [I did the latter but after tasting, add a little more of each.]
1 tsp. sweet [that is to say, not hot] paprika
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro [ used about half parsley and cilantro, and more than was called for]
Optional: 1 Tbs. minced green chile, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp. harissa, the North African chile paste [I didn't use these but will for a different meal.]
Mix together and refrigerate. Serves 5-6.
Lots of ways to play with this. Cut thin coins of carrot and blanch them. Use fresh mint with or instead of the parsley and/or cilantro. Orange peel and juice instead of the lemon, and maybe some honey? Yogurt instead of the oil and lemon juice?
The one serious adjustment I did was to add a small packet of Splenda (to equal 2 teaspoons of sugar) about an hour before serving when I did a final check on seasoning. The dish was a perfect match to the warm, spicy comfort-food texture of the couscous.