Spicy and delicious, Moroccan carrot salad combines cooked sliced carrots in a zingy dressing. A perfect side dish, or as part of a mezze platter or buffet.
I’ve no idea how authentically ‘Moroccan’ this carrot salad is, but it is certainly enjoyed widely in Israel at least! You can buy little tubs of it alongside the humous in supermarkets and corner shops. They’re good, but never quite as good as the real thing, lovingly homemade. Obviously.
Appetisers and starters
This carrot 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. Yum.
What is Moroccan carrot salad?
Moroccan carrot salad 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 was almost inedibly salty. There is no single recipe for this delightful dish.
Tinker and adjust
The recipe for Moroccan carrot salad that I give below is based on one that came to me on a scrap of paper, from a friend at university. I’ve no idea where she got it from originally.
I’ve tinkered with her recipe – 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!
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Moroccan carrot salad
- 450-500 g 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.
Other salads you might enjoy include Israeli chopped vegetable salad, strawberry cucumber spinach salad with nuts and seeds, roasted vegetable and barley salad with creamy tahini dressing, and giant couscous salad with fresh herbs and crunchy nuts.