Salade de carottes à la marocaine

Spicy carrot salad, Moroccan style

A slightly different version of this salad is served at many of the North African restaurants around Paris. The difference? The carrots are traditionally spiced with harissa, the North African hot sauce, while I prefer to use garlicky hot pepper sauce from Asia, preferably sambal oelek, which I find gives the best results.

4 carrots
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sambal oelek or harissa, or 1 dried cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely snipped

Peel the carrots and chop into rounds about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Cook in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain.

While the carrots are cooking, mix all the other ingredients except the cilantro together in a medium bowl. If you are using a dried cayenne pepper, enclose it in a paper towel before crumbling to keep its fiery power off of your hands.

Mix the sauce and carrots together while the carrots are still hot. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the cilantro. Serve at room temperature or cool, but not cold. Serves 2-4.

If cilantro is not available, use a different fresh herb, like mint or basil. And if you would like to try making your own harissa, there is a wonderful recipe on the site A Gardener’s Table.


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