Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad

This amazing carrot salad is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's gorgeous cookbook, Plenty, not to be confused with Diana Henry's same titled and equally awesome tome.  No, it isn't particularly kid friendly, but I promise that if you bring it out when friends are over, maybe with a simple lemon roast chicken (or, hell, for that matter, a chicken from Costco), you will receive rave reviews and a couple of requests for the recipe....(yup, happened to me the other night!)
The hard part is the preserved lemons.  You can't just buy them at the market, not even at Whole Foods.  (UPDATE:  I was just at WF:  you CAN buy them....Meyer lemon variety..but I would still make them...it will be cheaper for sure.)  You have to make them (click on the link below in the ingredients section.)  But it really isn't difficult.  And you will have loads of leftovers sitting in your fridge forever.  And you can spend your days trolling the internet for other recipes to use them up. All you need is a glass jar (mason jar works fine), organic lemons (available at Ralphs), kosher salt and olive oil.  And 5 full days in advance to wait for them to do their magic once you have assembled them. 

Spicy Moroccan carrot salad
Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time
Servings: 4
2 pounds carrots
1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish (I used less than a quarter of cup, myself)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (and seeded, if you want less heat, but I went whole hog)
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
2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra to garnish (about 2 bunches)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, chilled (honestly, totally forgot this step...still amazing.)

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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