Salade de carottes à la marocaine

Does North African cooking count as French cuisine? I had dinner a couple nights ago with friends who insist that it does. ‘After all,’ said Jack, ‘when the French are asked to name their favorite food, the dish that comes up most often is couscous.’ And indeed, the influences back and forth between France and its former colonies are so strong that North African cuisine can be found virtually around every corner here. This Moroccan carrot salad — fresh, flavorful and oh so spicy — will transport you to a hot and exotic land.

Salade de carottes à la marocaine / Spicy carrot salad, Moroccan style

I generally serve these spicy carrots as a starter, often with one or two other starters from the region — caviar d’aubergine or roasted peppers, for example. But they also work well as a side dish. Last night I served them alongside spicy roast chicken and couscous. Inspired by Jack’s superb lamb tagine with eggplant and olives, I plan to continue with Moroccan cuisine on Friday. The recipe from my neighborhood chef will have to wait.

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