North African Carrot Salad

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Carrots with Charmoula

This salad uses a traditional North African dressing called charmoula--a mixture of oil, garlic, citrus, herbs, cumin, and salt. I find that this recipe works best with carrots, because their sweetness is a perfect pairing for the pungent dressing, but boiled, cubed potatoes with a chopped boiled egg would also be delicious. Toasting and then grinding the whole cumin seeds is really the key to this recipe--it gives the dressing a deep, earthy aroma.

  • ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 8-10 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add carrots whole, and turn down to simmer for 8 minutes. Remove carrots to a bowl of ice water.
  2. Meanwhile, toast cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium flame for 45-60 seconds, until they are beginning to brown and smell fragrant. Pour into a large mortar and pestle. Add garlic and salt, and pulverize. Add oil, lemon juice, paprika, cinnamon, and cilantro, mixing well before after addition.
  3. Remove carrots from water and pat dry. Slice on an angle into ⅛ inch rounds. In a large non-reactive glass bowl, toss with the dressing. Chill for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.