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.
Let’s be honest, carrots aren’t the most exciting of vegetables. I know I’m guilty of relegating them to be an ingredient in something else, and don’t often provide an opportunity for them to shine. This fantastic Moroccan carrot salad redresses the balance and puts the carrots front and centre.
Moroccan carrot salad via Israel!
The Moroccan Jewish community was once the largest in the Muslim world, but between around 1950-1965 almost 90% of them emigrated to Israel. Not surprisingly then, there has been a strong Moroccan influence on Israeli cuisine, and many Moroccan dishes are widely available.
This Moroccan carrot salad is one such dish, and it is certainly enjoyed widely in Israel. 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.
To make this Moroccan carrot salad recipe you will need:
- olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- spices – cumin, smoked paprika, ginger, black pepper, cayenne
- fresh parsley
Serve this salad while the carrots are still warm and it’s incredibly delicious! Sweet discs of carrot, smothered in garlicky, spicy dressing and the fresh herbiness of the parsley. YUM!
Tinker and adjust
The recipe for Moroccan carrots 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 (approx. 16-18 oz, 7-8 medium carrots)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne
- pinch salt
- 1-2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Peel the carrots and cut into slices 6-7mm (approx. ¼ inch) 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 warm or cold.
More delicious salad recipes
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.