This Middle Eastern-style salad is adapted from Chef Charles Kelsey of Cutty's in Brookline, MA (originally published in Food and Wine, May 2010). Carrots and chickpeas are tossed in a lemon vinaigrette flavored with cilantro, smoked paprika, and cumin—an unusual but delicious combination. For a sweeter variation, try adding currants, honey, and cinnamon.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- One (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until golden, a few minutes. Drain the almonds on paper towels and let cool.
In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, garlic, 1 and 3/4 cups of the cilantro, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and half of the almonds. Pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process to a chunky paste. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the carrots and chickpeas. Season to taste with more salt and pepper as desired. Chop the remaining cilantro and sprinkle over salad, along with the remaining almonds.