I was planning to share breakfast tacos with you this week, but summer temperatures just hit Madrid, and this fresh and zesty Moroccan-inspired carrot salad seemed most appropriate. But don't worry, if you're not feeling summery yet, I'll be back next week with some really fabulous and quick breakfast tacos.
The inspiration for this recipe came from a recent conversation with someone who made and loved this Beet Rice & Chickpea Salad. She went on to describe a similar style carrot tabbouleh she loves, which I immediately knew I had to make. By the time I made it a few weeks later though, I had forgotten the exact ingredients she mentioned. But this is what I came up with, and I'm over the moon in love. I already know this will be one of my fridge essentials this summer.
If you're also a fan of the Beet Rice Salad, this carrot salad won't disappoint. Carrots are pulsed in the food processor to get a fine couscous-like crumb. Then they're tossed with citrus, mint, pistachio, and a simple Moroccan-inspired spice blend of cumin and cinnamon for a subtle depth of flavor. And if you do dairy, feta can be added to finish it off. Leftovers the next day are just as good because the carrots have time to marinate in the dressing, but they retain their crunch.
Upon first glance, I'm guessing this salad might make some of you (especially my fellow Americans) think about that classic carrot and raisin salad that shows up on summer picnic tables. If you're feeling less-than-enthused as a result (hand raised over here!), I hope you'll trust me and still give this one a go. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Carrot Couscous Salad
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 large orange (+ juice of half orange )
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
6 medium carrots (500 gr), roughly chopped
Handful (10 gr.) mint, chopped
1/3 cup (40 gr) toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
Crumbled feta, to taste (optional)
In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, add zest and juice of lemon and orange, olive oil, spices, and salt.
Add half the roughly chopped carrots to a bowl of a large food processor. Pulse until you get a fine crumb the size of couscous. Transfer carrot couscous to bowl with dressing. Repeat with remaining carrots. (If using a small food processor, you'll need to do this in 4 batches.)
Stir carrots from the bottom up until thoroughly combined with dressing. Toss in mint, pistachios, and feta if using. Serve immediately or allow to hang out on the counter so carrots can marinate in the dressing.