Another Israeli favourite here – Moroccan carrot salad. I’ve no idea how ‘Moroccan’ this is, but it is certainly enjoyed widely in Israel. You can even buy little tubs of it alongside the humous in supermarkets and corner shops. Not that they’re as good as the real thing, lovingly homemade 🙂
This salad has developed a sort of ubiquity, in fact. There is a certain type of traditional restaurant in Israel, where when you sit down, they bring a menu and along with it an array of little saucers with dips and salads and things to whet the appetite. These usually include olives, humous, chopped salad, pickles, and more often than not, Moroccan carrot salad. If you’re lucky, and the restaurant you choose is in an area dense with such establishments, you may find that they have entered into an unending game of one-upmanship, whereby they compete as to which restaurant can provide the widest range of tasty pre-dinner tidbits. You almost don’t need dinner once you’ve noshed them all up. Yum.
Anyway, back to the Moroccan carrot salad. It consists of cooked, sliced carrots, in a spicy dressing, usually with some chopped herb or other for a bit of greenery. I’ve had versions which were extremely sharp, almost sour. And others that were ridiculously sweet. Some with no chopped herbs, others with an abundance. One restaurant version we sent back as being inedibly salty. There is no single recipe for this (usually!) delightful dish.
The recipe for Moroccan carrot salad that I give below is based on one that was passed to me by a friend at university. I’ve no idea where she got it from. I’ve tinkered with the original – adjusting the spices to suit my taste, and adding some chopped parsley where before there was none. I like this version very much, and apparently so does DH. We managed to eat a whole bowlful – nearly 500g of carrots – between the two of us. As a side dish!!
So, while I’d say that this serves 4 as a side dish, that does rather depend on your enthusiasm!
- 450-500g carrots
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 0.5 tsp ground ginger
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne
- pinch salt
- 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Peel the carrots and cut into slices 6-7mm thick. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, and simmer for around 5 minutes until just tender.
- Meanwhile, whisk all the remaining ingredients in a bowl large enough to take the cooked carrots.
- When the carrots are cooked, drain well, and add them to the dressing. Toss to coat, and leave to cool, mixing occasionally.
- Serve cold.