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moroccan carrot saladI hope this bright pop of colour is a welcome addition to your inbox today. I know it is a salad, and many of us – with rain either in progress (me) or threatening to do so – don’t feel terribly salady. But a splash of colour on a plate always cheers. And this one doesn’t contain lettuce, so with any luck those of you who only crave salads when you can also wear shorts will be tempted. Mind you, I never wear shorts but I can always eat salad. Go figure.moroccan carrot saladOur sun-filled weekend spent labouring in the garden now seems rather far away. I haven’t sown any carrots this year, but my mint and parsley – used in this recipe – are already very happy with the very Scottish mix of sunshine and showers. That by the way is a euphemism for awfully wet but with an occasional peek of the Big Guy. At least I’ve stopped wearing a jacket. Indoors.

Carrots are one of those crops that gets grown year-round. A staple crop. They are however best in the coming months, starting from now. Sweet, delicate, crunchy, carrots are the one vegetable that most of us seem to like. Whether in a side dish or salad, in a main, as a snack, juice or even sweet, carrots are easily one of our favourite and most versatile vegetables, having both sweet and savoury notes. I even feature them in a porridge! And it’s really good too . ;-)

Of course they are extremely nutritious. Carrots are blessed with not only an heroic amount of the antioxidant vitamin, beta-carotene but also vitamins K, C, Bs 6, 3 and 1, biotin, lots of fibre, potassium and numerous colour-related plant compounds that seem to nip numerous diseases in the bud. Here’s a great link to more nutrition information on this favourite veg. I like them because they taste great. Especially in this raw food recipe, which emphasises their natural sweet goodness.

This is a super recipe to knock up and serve alongside freshly made hummus or other dips. We had a version of this for lunch today with Seven-Seed Spelt Bread, which also features in the main images on this page.

today's carrot salad - on steroids (taken on my phone)

today’s carrot salad – on steroids (taken on my phone) – loads of veg added, including beetroot, radish, avocado, cucumber and mixed leaves. But also some goats cheese, leftover quinoa and lentils too.

But it is fantastic as a colourful, crunchy side to spiced grilled fish or chicken. Even a pomegranate-basted roast lamb. Basically anything vaguely Middle Eastern or Mediterranean can be eaten in its herbal, sweet company.

I’ve given the recipe that I use for my cancer nutrition workshops, but I have suggested various add-ins that complement. Harissa, the North African chilli paste made with paprika and olive oil, is a typical ingredient for this kind of salad. I like to keep it to a dod on the side to dip my fork into before I scoop up the salad.

And speaking of scoops, why not serve this in lettuce leaves? Or perhaps use a hummus-smeared flatbread to roll around the salad? Oh the possibilities…

Have you been eating salads throughout the winter, or are you strictly a warm-weather salad nosher? What is your favourite year-round vegetable? 

moroccan carrot salad

A Moroccan Carrot Salad

  • Servings: 4-6 as a hearty side dish
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Cinnamon is not standard in a Moroccan carrot salad. Nor is pomegranate molasses. But the rest does evoke the salads you might be served in any Moroccan café or home.

Like a lot of simple recipes and food ideas this carrot salad can be pimped and tweaked in many ways. I have given additional ideas. Let this be a template rather than a recipe.

5 carrots (about 1 lb/half kilo), cleaned and trimmed

Small palmful of stoned Medjool dates or Deglet Nour dates (the latter are the best kind, imo, being less sweet and less caloric)*

Handful of toasted seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin or pine nut

Juice of half lemon

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil OR cold-pressed rapeseed oil/canola oil (eg the good stuff)

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses OR maple syrup (if using maple, add a little more lemon juice)

¼ tsp ground cumin (tip: toast and grind your own seeds for best flavour)

good dash each of ground cinnamon and salt – about 1/8 tsp each

Generous handful each of washed mint leaves and flat leaf parsley (Italian parsley)

Optional add-ins: dried sour cherries, dried barberries or mulberries; dry-cure black olives; ½ tsp harissa paste or Turkish pepper flakes/Aleppo pepper flakes; chopped orange/clementine; goats cheese to garnish; preserved lemon (just a little though)

1. Grate the carrot in a food processor or by hand. I like to lay the shreds in a clean tea towel and give it a gentle squeeze, but that’s not necessary. Pop the carrots into a large bowl, adding also the dates and sunflower seeds.

2. Mix the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses or maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, cinnamon and salt. I tend to just pour everything in a jar and give it a good shake. Pour this dressing over the salad and toss through with salad servers or just your hands – you can guess what I opt for. This salad will keep like this for a day or two.

3. Now roughly chop the herbs and add to the salad. Serve with hummus or other dips, good Arabic bread (this looks good), grilled fish or chicken – most anything you like. For a heartier salad to have on its own, I might add white beans or quinoa to this. And a good few pinches of soft goats cheese too. Enjoy!

* basically just not the sugared chopped kind you get in the bakery section of the supermarket. These are nothing like the fat, almost caramel-like, dates I have suggested.

Miss R’s track of the Week is “Eden” from the May 5 release of the EP “1992″ by Ben Khan. All the other tracks equally as lush and funky.

Attention Milton Keynes food lovers: Elaine Boddy, the exceedingly lovely and uber-talented (I really should hate her) food blogger at Foodbod, has brought out a range of Middle Eastern dips, as well as vegan sweets (goodness balls!!) and sauces. I have a strong feeling this fledgling venture will take off in a big way, and hopefully those of us not in her area will be able to get our greedy paws on her food. Even if you aren’t near here, do go look at her product range and salivate a little. I want everything on her menu.

I also have the pleasure of sending this recipe over to Lisa’s Kitchen as this month’s host of No Croutons Required challenge. Thanks Lisa, and Jac of Tinned Tomatoes.no_croutons_required-1

And lastly, here is a link to an awesome video telling everyone about the work of the Maggie’s Centre. I’m so proud to be affiliated with this life-changing cancer support charity. They are branching out around the world, so if you are near one, do go in for a cup of tea and a nosey around. You don’t have to have cancer to visit. They are just lovely places to be in. PS if you want to see what the mysterious Mr A looks like, he’s the one doing most of the talking!

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56 thoughts on “A Moroccan Carrot Salad – sweet, savoury, delicious

  1. Lesley Pringle says:

    Ooh lovely! I’m having folk over tomorrow evening for supper, this just made it to the menu along with last weeks aubergine and cauliflower cous cous, any suggestions for the necessary protein to keep the boys happy? Was thinking along the lines of sword fish steaks with lemon but am keeping an open mind! Lx

    1. Ooh, swordfish – great call!! Moroccan spiced lamb rump would also be good. Let me know how the dishes go down I’m so chuffed that you are using my recipes, Lesley! If Mike ever lets you have a break, let me know and maybe we can have a cup of tea in the Centre. :-)

      1. Mmmmmm Lamb! I’ll let you know what I decide…..Tea would be lovely! Andy should have my number. Or text me yours via Gordon. Lx

  2. helenportas says:

    Looks amazing! I have been singing your praises to as many people as poss and this will surely convince the that they should sign up to the mailing list! I feel a trip to the green grocers coming on…!

    1. Thanks so so much for your support, Helen. You have made my day!

  3. Such a fragrant salad! I picked up some plump, fresh carrots at the market and was just thinking about how best to show off their exceptional spring flavor. Your recipe arrived at the perfect time, thank you!

  4. Thank you so very very much for including me and my new venture in your post, I’m so grateful, you’re lovely xx and like you, I eat salads constantly, all year round, and never wear shorts!!! I love your salad, you knew I would, and love all of the information about carrots xx ps one day I’ll make you lunch :)

  5. Reblogged this on foodbod and commented:
    A thoroughly lovely salad from a thoroughly lovely lady :)

  6. What a lush looking salad! I am a big fan of salads here. Thanks to Elaine to get me connected to your space! What a lovely space you have here !

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to leave a comment. Any friend of Elaine’s is always welcome.

  7. Wow this looks good. I’m glad I’m not the only person to use my phone for pictures too. my photography is greatly helped by it. Lovely salad I too have been trying to enjoy sunny eating in this constant rain.

    1. I’ve got an Android phone, and the photo apps aren’t so great :-( But you get the ‘picture’ with this salad of what we ate today and how this basic idea can go so many ways. Stay dry! Think sun! Is there a sun dance, I wonder?

      1. Your photos are always a joy Kellie and this salad looks fantastic. I’m about to start stomping up and down for my sun dance :-)

      2. Cheers, but i know the phone ones are always a bit ‘muddy.’ I shall join you in the sun dance if I can prise a cat off my lap! He’s keeping me warm ;-)

      3. I think they are still excellent images. All my blog pics are from my phone. I need to persevere with my camera. I’m hoping summer holidays and when my youngest goes to pre- school will all help! Enjoy your snuggles. More beneficiary than stomping I’m sure!

      4. When wee ones are at school one get can certainly get a lot done! My only child is home studying for 6th form exams and I am being bombarded by r&b and some other genres I hate. I can’t think! Little un’s are full-on but at least they don’t insist on studying with the speakers on full blast ;-) Enjoy the time with your youngest. I remember those days very fondly. Plenty of time to develop photography skills. xx

      5. Yes you are right and the time is already zooming by!!

  8. Deena Kakaya says:

    You know, we are bad carrot eaters in our house. They tend to be left at the bottom of the drawer each week and I always feel bad about it. But as you know, we are also spice, colour and taste lovers too…I’m going to start to rid my habit of carrot-shunning with this light and fresh recipe x

    1. Do! You could use it as s template for something pretty special, I reckon

  9. This looks like a colorful and tasty salad. I will definitely try this. Thank you. :)

    1. I hope you do. It’s super-duper easy and punches above it’s weight in the taste department. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :-)

      1. Yes of course. Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. How did you know, I did need something bright in my inbox today. I make a similar Moroccan carrot couscous salad so I’m already in love with this salad. I definitely use carrots year around as well as sweet potato and avocado, although avocados are technically a fruit. Hope you see some sun soon again, we’re in the midst of rainy days here as well.

    1. I seem to have avocado everyday. I try and limit it to 1/4 of a fruit, but sometimes I can’t help myself, Katie. I bet you are far more disciplined!

      1. Ha! I had to laugh at that. I eat avocado almost daily as well and I usually eat 1/3-1/2 of the avocado, depending how I’m using it . I think this habit of ours is just fine and has no need to be reined in. ;-)

      2. Well, if you say so ;-). Mind you, I’m much older, and my aged metabolism (which I could fix with HARD WORK) necessitates less of anything I love. Sadly.

    2. Kellie, I missed the Maggie’s Center video the first time around but just watched it. What a special resource for the community and a special mission to be involved in. Thanks for sharing this, I’ll keep my eyes open for them in the future.

      1. Thanks SO much Katie for going back and viewing it. I think it is really well done and demystifies what we do. So many people think a place for people with cancer is all long faces and whispered voices. The centre has space for sadness but it is more often than not ringing with laughter and people sharing experiences. Something for everyone at every stage of the cancer journey.

      2. Yes, that’s exactly the sense I got. An uplifting and spirited place for sure. That’s what I loved about it, and am happy to hear it’s starting to pop up in other places. Must have been a challenge but a great opportunity to learn what and how to cook for soft diets and other needs cancer patients have.

      3. I LOVE my job so much. I consider it a distinct privilege to help people even just a little through what is inevitably a tricky time, with lots of dietary and nutritional challenges. A lot of my work is motivational. Which is very rewarding. Thanks again, Katie x

  11. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Vibrant, nourishing and totally delicious, as always Kellie. Love it!

  12. looks so good, loving the colours :)

  13. cheri says:

    What a wonderful salad, looks amazing. Never tire of soup or salad, there are so many different kinds.

  14. You’ve brought memories of a wonderful trip to Marrakech about 10 years ago to come flooding back! Lovely.

  15. Wow, this looks wonderful, so colorful! I love salad and eat it aaaall year round…

  16. what a lovely colourful salad. I enjoy an Indian version too which is lemon, cumin, chilli and salt with grated carrots but this one could be one to try in wraps with dips and other good stuff. Lovely video – what a nice centre you have there, and nice to see Mr A!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to watch the short video. The production team did a good job, I think. And so did Mr A ;-) Your Indian version of carrot salad sounds really good. I am shortly to post a carrot pickle that is along those flavour lines, but obvs we can’t eat it as a salad!

  17. I urge everyone to watch the film at the end of this blog, it’s a beautifully filmed calm no nonsense mini film about what Maggies can offer and why. If you are swithering or nervous about going, this will give you all you need to make that initial step through the welcoming doors and you will not look back.

    1. :-))))) Thanks Miss Niki xx

  18. Oh Kellie I feel your pain, I’m also getting pretty fed up with the Scottish weather! Let’s hope spring is round the corner :) And thank you for the carrot tip, I will look them out when i go to farmer’s market next. Your salad really has some interesting flavours going on, I might try it! :)

  19. I always put cinnamon in my Moroccan carrot salad. Love the addition of the pom molasses!

    1. Try it Alyssa! And thanks for approving m cinnamon. I will have to quote you if I get in an argument with a Moroccan!

  20. Sally says:

    You have the knack of making my mouth water over ….salad. Have loads of carrots from farmers market. Grating now (in slightly warmer temperatures…..)

    1. Thank you, Sally. And I appreciated your very uplifting exchange with the great Diana Henry today. She is so down to earth, isn’t she?

      1. Sally says:

        She’s absolutely lovely – and her food writing is stellar. I had tea at her house so met only briefly but she feels like a friend.

      2. I remember that you and some other lucky bloggers got to meet her at her house a couple of years ago(I love her bookshelves, groaning with books!). I was a wee bit jealous as I have long admired her writing and her attitude.But I was fortunate to have been introduced late last year by our mutual friend Hattie Ellis (What To Eat? writer – brilliant book) to help a little on her A Change of Appetite. We too have become friends. Such a lovely, lovely lady. Everyone who knows about her loves her too, it seems! And thanks for the flattering twitter banter with her yesterday. Nice to see all of that in print. PS I love your writing too. You have a fantastic style and I always look forward to your posts pinging into my inbox, Sally.

  21. Yum! This looks great, and speedy too! Perfect for me right now – this may just get added to my menu this week ;)

    1. Awesome! It is well-speedy to prepare, and makes tasty leftovers too.

  22. This looks delicious Kellie! Today is meal prepping day for me I will definitely try it ! I just recently started my own blog which has been a goal of mine for years, so I am passing on the link just in case you get some time to check it out :) http://www.healthywithconfetti.com Hope you enjoy!

  23. Shannon Lim says:

    what a vibrant carrot salad. it’s quite similar to the beetroot & carrot salad I’ve tried once, there’s mustard that gives it the extra zing. I hope the Big Guy keep shining in Edinburgh.. I don’t think I can survive winter there.. I was wearing winter jacket in Oct at Netherlands last year.. :P

  24. Monica says:

    I’m sitting here eating hummus just wishing I had this carrot salad to go with it. Do you make your own harissa paste?

    1. I have done. And it’s good. But I also like el Fez (or something like that. You’ll know it) and Belazu. Do you make your own? I may blog my recipe because I suppose dome people can’t easily buy it.

  25. Lisa says:

    Thank you for such a lovely submission to NCR this month. The roundup is a bit late, but it is coming soon.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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