With all of the vegetable roasting that we do in winter, I’m always on the lookout for something to shake things up. Don’t get me wrong, roasted roots are one of my favorite things to eat! But after overdoing it on the tubers and brassicas, I look forward to something different.
This salad recipe uses fresh carrots and takes a cue from the flavors of Morocco (which is influenced from Mediterranean, Arabic, and North African cooking).
Since fresh carrots get the spotlight in this recipe, take the extra trip to the farmer’s market to hunt for crisp, flavorful varieties. Then layer one some chickpeas & pistachios for a healthy amount of protein and some dates… just because they are a sticky, sweet delicious treat. Then all of this gets tossed with a lime-turmeric-cumin dressing.
Farmer's Market Moroccan Carrot Salad (Winter)
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans*
- 8 dates pitted
- 4 green onions
- 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 2 limes zest and juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
IN THE MORNING
Soak the chickpeas overnight or in the morning. 1/2 cup of dried garbanzo beans= 1 1/2 cup soaked/cooked.
Shred the carrots (a food processor makes fast work of this). Chop the dates into large chunks. Slice the white and light green parts of the green onion. Chop nuts.
MAKE THE DRESSING
Whisk together olive oil and lime juice. Add in spices & whisk again.
COMBINE & SERVE
Combine the carrots, onions, dates and beans, toss with dressing. Top with cilantro and pistachios. Serve.
*1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans = 1 1/2 cup cooked or canned. For this salad the dried ones do taste better and have a slightly crunchier texture.
- How to pick fresh carrots: Look for carrots with the greens attached, because it’s much easier to tell how fresh they are by looking at the greens (rather than the carrot root). If the tops are already cut off, look for the most vibrant colored carrots, since their color fades over time. When you get home, if you are not using the carrots right away, cut the tops off so they don’t pull moisture from the roots. Store in the fridge.
- Garbanzo beans / Chickpeas: Dried ones do taste better in this recipe. After you soak them, they don’t need to be cooked, but you can cook them if you want. Cooked ones will be a bit softer.
- Nuts: Pistachios are great, but hazelnuts would also work well in this salad. You can also use a nice nut oil in place of olive oil for the dressing.
What to eat with the Carrot Salad:
Make it into a stand alone meal by doubling the amount of garbanzo beans for added protein.
You could also pair the carrot salad with a parsnip-pear soup or another type of earthy option. It also goes well with roasted pork rubbed with the same spices used in the dressing – cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Inspiration for the Moroccan Carrot Salad:
The original recipe, “Marrakesh Carrots,” is from the Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook, which features healthy and produce-centric recipes. As with most recipes, I tailored it over time to what I prefer. In this case, I removed the 3/4 cup chopped red onion in the original recipe (feel free to add that back in!). The author, Sara Forte, also suggests a couple of optional addins to the recipe: feta cheese and pomegranate seeds for garnishes. While I can normally be found putting cheese on everything, I prefer this salad without it. The pomegranate seeds add a nice flavor to this salad, so I encourage you to try it.
I have over 20 recipes from this book that I want to make soon. A few at the top of my list are a Citrus Beet Salad with Walnut Puree for winter, a Strawberry Tabbouleh for summer, and Lemon Creams with Blueberries and Gingersnaps for dessert.
Also, be sure to stop by and check out the Sprouted Kitchen blog for even more recipes – like if you want to get back to roasting vegetables, try these Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Chimichurri.