Moroccan Carrot Salad is a complex balance of both spicy and sweet flavors, and is the perfect side dish or lunch option!
Picture this: roasted lemons, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, parsley, pine nuts, orange zest, and a little bit of sweet with golden raisins mixed with crunchy carrot slivers.
Should I just stop here? I mean, you’re leaving me to start making this salad anyway, right?
All those ingredients, they’re fan-freakin-tastic when combined with some lemon infused olive oil.
It’s whoa, this dish. It has the perfect amount of spice that quietly sneaks up on you. I love the golden raisins that add a sweet touch and balance out the spices. Combine the spicy and sweet with the roasted lemons, orange zest, and parsley to lighten it up in the best way possible. Oh, and the pine nuts. Those pine nuts make their presence known just when you need them, adding a different element of crunch; a little more sweet with a hint of nuttiness.
Are you waiting for me to tell you about these roasted lemons? I’m dying to tell you about these roasted lemons.
Have you had them before? I hadn’t until I had this carrot salad. Then they changed my life.
To be honest, I really didn’t think I was going to like roasted lemons; eating slices of lemon – skin and all? I thought it’d be kind of weird. The world has this funny way of continuing to open my mind. Because, MIND BLOWN! Roasting lemons allows them to caramelize, which makes them perfectly sweet and tames the tartness of the lemon while still preserving the fresh lemon flavor. Just, YUM. Do it. Soon.
I feel like I may not even need to point this out to you either, but just look at this salad. Carrots – raw, spiced in the yummiest way to bring out so many complex flavors; who can argue with that?! SO HEALTHY, but SO GOOD you don’t even know it. My kind of dish, if you haven’t noticed yet. Gosh, it makes me happy. Delicious + healthy eating = the only way.
Carry on my friends, carry on and make this Moroccan Carrot Salad for an amazing lunch or side dish to your favorite dinner!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil for caramelizing lemons and then used for dressing once lemon infused
- 1 large lemon washed, thinly sliced in rounds and then quartered
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated/finely minced (may substitute with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 orange zested
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice I use 1/2 an orange
- Sea salt to taste
- Ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Place quartered lemon slices and olive oil in a cold skillet. Ensure the olive oil covers the bottom of the pan; add more if it does not.
- Heat skillet over low heat until rinds soften and begin to brown and caramelize, approximately 20 minutes.
- While the lemons are caramelizing, combine the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Once lemons are caramelized, remove lemons and separate out the lemon-infused olive oil.
- While whisking the spices, pour the lemon infused olive oil (~1/4 cup) in a thin stream into the spice mixture until the dressing reaches your desired consistency. You may need to add more regular olive oil depending on how much the olive oil reduced while caramelizing the lemons.
- Add the carrots, parsley, golden raisins, caramelized lemons, and pine nuts to dressing.
- Toss salad and adjust as needed for desired spice level.
Adapted from Aarti Sequeira.