Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad has warm undertones with ingredients like fresh ginger, cinnamon, honey and chili in the dressing. I love throwing toasted pine nuts into this salad, but you could just as easily add raisins/sultanas to the carrots instead, or nothing at all.
Pine nuts are a great source of monosaturated fat, which studies have shown helps reduce cholesterol. If you are going to use pine nuts, it is well worth the effort to lightly toast them. The flavor is amazingly intensified – try it once and I promise you will always toast your pine nuts before eating them. It takes about 10 minutes to toast them in a dry pan, but the great thing is that you can toast much more than you need and then store the excess in an air-tight container at room temperature for several months. I always keep a supply of toasted pine nuts on hand to throw into salads.
SPICY MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD
(Serves 4-6 as a side salad)
450g (1 lb) carrots, grated
50g (1/2 cup) pine nuts (preferably toated) or raisins/sultanas
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 3 Tbsp)
3/4 tsp freshly grated ginger (I use the fine side of my cheese grater)
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8-1/4 tsp red chili powder
Generous pinch and a half of salt
- If you are using pine nuts, I recommend toasting them to intensify their flavor (you can toast more pine nuts than you need for this recipe and store the excess in an air-tight container at room temperature for several months). Start by placing the pine nuts in a dry frying pan on medium-high heat. Make sure that the pine nuts are in a single layer so that they are all touching the base of the pan. Shake the pan every once in a while to keep the pine nuts from burning. When you notice that the pine nuts are starting to look glossy and smell like popcorn, turn the heat down to medium-low, and stir with a wooden spoon every once in a while. They will now start to get brown, so you need to keep moving them so that they color evenly. As soon as they look toasted, remove them to a plate to cool.
- Prepare the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a jar or a glass (I recommend starting with 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder and 1/8 tsp chili powder, and then tasting the dressing to see if you want to increase either of these ingredients). Let the dressing sit at room temperature while you prepare the carrots.
- Wash and grate the carrots. You can use ready-grated carrots if you are short on time or energy, but freshly grated carrots will be juicier. Place the grated carrots in a bowl.
- Add the dressing and toss well.
- Add 50g (1/2 cup) of pine nuts/raisins/sultanas and fold into the salad.
- Refrigerate and serve cold.