Salad is quite possibly one of the most misunderstood dishes in the world. When I wrote salad, you probably thought “Lettuce” or “Something green” or “Ugh”. I thought all of those things actually. The funny thing is, Moroccan cuisine is not really big on lettuce. While Moroccans eat a lot of salad, very few of them have any greens. Zaalouk anyone? This is a recipe that goes to show that salad can be exciting, filling, and immensely satisfying. This Zesty Moroccan Carrot Salad is unlike anything you have ever had and will change your mind about carrots.
Fact: I honestly thought that adding the word salad in the title was going to bring down the value of this dish. Ridiculous.
The back story of this Moroccan Carrot Salad:
When I was a kid, I hated veggies, especially carrots. My mom used to put them in couscous every freaking Friday and I used to just shove them to the side and go straight for the meat. The only time I was excited about carrots was when my mom used to make this salad. Which in all honesty, was not often. I don’t think she was aware that I actually liked that salad; I never asked her to make it.
I had much more important priorities when I was 8… Lasagna and chocolate cake. Gotta keep them priorities straight.
I didn’t particularly care for the carrots themselves, I was interested in the Chermoula (marinade) that came with it. IT BE SO GOOD. Chermoula is zesty, spicy, sweet and savoury. I could not believe I was eating carrots.
I’ll be honest with you, even today I feel like carrots on their own are kind of a let down. Every time I take a bite from one this is how my brain goes:
“Oooh sweet … aww 🙁 … Why am I doing this again?”
Thankfully, I have rekindled my love with this carrot salad and it is still my favourite way to make them. I’m confident you will love it too.
So What is Moroccan Carrot Salad? It’s a cold entree that is made with cooked carrots that are marinated in a classic moroccan marinade (Chermoula).
Here is why this salad is awesome:
In one word, Chermoula. A zesty & perfectly balanced marinade that make the flavours of the humble carrot jump out. A.K.A. No more disappointment.
Chermoula is the word for marinade in Moroccan Arabic.
So what is the Chermoula comprised of you ask?
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Chilli flakes
- Fresh Coriander
Do you see why it works? The lemon & coriander adds freshness and acidity, the olive oil balances it by adding depth of flavour, the paprika, cumin and chilli flakes bring that much needed savouriness and spiciness.
The result? A total braingasm.
How to make Moroccan Carrot Salad?
Zesty Moroccan Carrot Salad
This is an easy Moroccan recipe you can make ahead of time and enjoy for the rest of the week.
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick slices.
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil on medium-high heat. Add your carrots and cook for 7-8 minutes. The carrots should still have a little bite to them, but they need to be completely cooked through. Drain and let them completely cool down.
Zest & juice your lemon and add to a large bol. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix using a fork until well combined. Add your cooked carrots to the marinade and taste. Add salt if you need to.
Serve cold, with a little bread to scoop up the remaining Chermoula.
Pin this and make it later!