Moroccan Carrot Salad

Moroccan Carrot Salad
The other night, Mr. B and I got swept up in another one of Anthony Bourdain's shows. In this one, he was off to Morocco, which I found especially fascinating because in my dreamy romantic travel dreams, it's the place I'd most want to visit. Perhaps, I've spent to much time reading about American literary greats who escaped there just after WWII. Morocco, particularly Tangier, an ancient port city, was known for its lawlessness; it was a magnet for the open-minded creative sect, the deviant, and anyone who was looking for a place to disappear and check themselves off the grid.

I've never been interested in Morocco because I was looking for a lawless place to exercise my deviance—I can do that in my own kitchen and routinely eat peanut butter from the jar and drink milk from the carton—instead, I was always attracted to Morocco for its great architecture, labyrinth marketplace and the exotic foods teeming with spices. I suppose, being a bit of a Francophile, that I am also attracted by the French influences and the prospect of untold treasures hidden away in little antique shops and bazaar stalls, too.

I have a few Moroccan dishes that I make fairly often, but none as much as this simple carrot salad which is just as often referred to as a French carrot salad. It's a delicious mix of fresh carrots, cumin, cilantro and I like to put either chopped pistachios or a handful of almonds in for an extra crunch factor. The salad is delicious with grilled lamb and mint tea, but it's also great on its own.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

4 cups shredded carrots
1 bunch chopped mint
1 bunch chopped cilantro
chopped pistachios or toasted slivered almonds
cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of honey
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 squeezed lemon
salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, lemon juice a big pinch of cayenne pepper and a big pinch or two of cumin; add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Toss together carrots, mint and cilantro.
3. Pour dressing over carrots and toss to coat; allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Just before serving, toss in the pistachios or almonds.


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