Last week I was singing the praises of Chez Pannisse Vegetables, and this Moroccan carrot salad is the next thing I cooked from it, which I made in order to use up a glut of carrots in the fridge. Though the recipe calls for pretty baby carrots with the stems still attached (not the peeled and cut "baby" ones at the grocery store, but actual young carrots), I cut up full-grown ones into half-moons and it was pretty delicious next to a roasted leg of lamb.
The spices are an unexpected blend of cumin, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. The recipe listed no quantities for the spices, so I experimented by using stronger amounts of cumin and paprika, just a little cayenne for heat, and cinnamon for its unique aromatic flavor. My guess is the next time I make this I'll improvise again. Otherwise, it's lemon juice for brightness, olive oil, and chopped parsley, with a clove of garlic cooked with the carrots to almost imperceptibly perfume them. The key is to allow as much time as possible for the flavors to mellow and marry; they are all strong and since they're never cooked, they can be harsh at first.
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled cut into half-moons, or baby carrots peeled and split lengthwise
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Olive oil to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Bring a pot of salty water to boil and cook the carrots along with the garlic clove until just tender. Drain and cool to room temperature.
Combine the spices and toss with the carrots, then toss with enough olive oil and lemon juice to coat. Taste for acidity and seasoning, and adjust as necessary.
Toss with the chopped parsley, then set aside to marinate for as long as possible.