The more I explore Moroccan cuisine, the more I appreciate its use of spices to transform the ordinary into a veritable celebration of the senses! This recipe is the perfect example. Simple, steamed carrots become an exotic experience with the perfect combination of spices and herbs. This carrot salad would be perfect at a Moroccan meze table or even as an accompaniment to some kebabs, barbeque chicken or steak. I found the recipe in Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, so I knew it would be awesome and I was right! I hope you enjoy it as well.
Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad
2 pounds carrots
1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium green chilies, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped plus extra to garnish
½ cup Greek yogurt, chilled
Peel the carrots and cut them into semicircles ½ inch thick. Place carrots in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender, but still crunchy. Drain in a colander and leave to dry out.
Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion with some salt and the sugar for about 12 minutes over medium heat until soft and turning brown. Add the garlic, green chiles, green onion and the spices and sauté until fragrant.
Add the cooked carrots, vinegar and lemon and combine well. Remove from heat. Season with salt and leave to cool.
Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt, and a drizzle of oil. Garnish with extra cilantro.