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Recipe: Spicy Moroccan carrot salad

January 05, 2012

Sometimes it takes somebody new to make you fall in love again with an old friend. In this case, it was British author Yotam Ottolenghi's twist on the familiar Moroccan carrot salad from his wonderful new book "Plenty." Spiced with serrano chiles and perfumed with an exotic blend of cloves, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika and cumin, the salad is finished with what seems to be an impossible amount of chopped cilantro — 2½ cups. Impossible, that is, until you taste it.

Spicy Moroccan carrot salad

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi

2 pounds carrots

1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish

1 onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 serrano chile, finely chopped (and seeded, if you want less heat)

1 green onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon

Salt

2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra to garnish

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, chilled

1. Peel the carrots and cut them, depending on their size, into cylinders or semicircles one-half-inch thick; all the pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender but still crunchy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to dry out.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion over medium heat until soft and slightly brown, about 12 minutes. Add the cooked carrots to the onion, followed by the sugar, garlic, chile, onion, cloves, ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, vinegar and preserved lemon.

3. Remove from the heat. Season liberally with salt, stir well and leave to cool.

4. Before serving, stir in the cilantro, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve

in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of oil and a garnish of the extra cilantro.

Each serving: 317 calories; 5 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 22 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 14 grams sugar; 193 mg sodium.

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