Moroccan-inspired Carrot Salad

plated carrot salad with garnish
Finished carrot salad plated at one of my recent pop-up dinners!

Is anyone else getting to the point with their winter CSA where they’re drowning in carrots? To keep dinner fun (instead of “again??”), I’ve been dipping into other cuisines for inspiration.

More after the jump!

This quick recipe requires barely any cooking, lasts several days in the fridge (with the flavors developing more each day) and tastes best at room temperature! I suggest making a batch at the end of the week and using it throughout the next one for dinners and work lunches.

Recipe

5 cups baby carrots, cut into rounds (or regular carrots, small-chopped)
1/4 cup lemon olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5+ tbsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp cinnamon
large pinch dried parsley
2+ tsp harissa paste, to taste (or, a pinch red pepper flakes)
pinch salt
1/4 cup black olives, diced
2 oranges, peeled & small-chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Serves 8-10 as a filling side.

Directions

1. Prep the raisins by putting them into a small bowl and pouring a cup of boiling water over them. Leave to let them swell and become juicier.

2. Put baby carrots in a medium-sized pot, fill until just covered in water, and set over a high flame. Bring to a rolling boil (big, fiercely-moving bubbles), then reduce the heat somewhat to a low boil (smaller bubbles) and cook about 6-7 minutes, until carrot rounds are soft but not mushy.

3. Drain carrots into a strainer and then put them in a large mixing bowl.

4. Add chopped oranges and diced olives. I used higher-quality olives but honestly the sauce was so intensely flavored that I think you could totally get away with using canned black olives.

5. Drain the raisins into the strainer and add them to the mixing bowl.

6. Make the dressing in a jar or tall glass by just throwing everything in: lemon olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, harissa paste, pinch of salt and parsley. (If you don’t have lemon olive oil, feel free to use all regular and add a squeeze of lemon juice.) Whisk it up until well-blended. Make sure you don’t have any remaining lumps of harissa- that hot stuff is INTENSE.

7. Taste the dressing to make sure you approve- you may need to add more salt or heat or whatever.

8. Add the dressing to the mixing bowl and stir everything up until well-blended. My orange segments tend to mostly fall apart at this stage so they’re just juicy bits of pulp strewn throughout the salad- still delicious, so don’t worry if this happens.

9. Take the salad out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you plan to serve it.

Happy eating!

Claire

About Claire Phelan

Claire Phelan is a chef, caterer, cooking instructor and writer. She loves produce deals, NYC history and hosting pop-up dinners in various places! She is also an organizer for Girl Party, which connects extraordinary women through unconventional gatherings. Follow her cooking and events on Instagram @cookingwithclaire and @girlpartybk.

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