Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad Recipe
A beauty of a carrot salad - tricked out with chickpeas, chunks of dried pluots, sliced almonds, and a toasted cumin dressing. Thank you Diane Morgan.
Diane Morgan got my attention with the words dried plums cut into chickpea-sized chunks. At the time, I was browsing her new book, Roots. She was referencing a carrot and chickpea salad, and I was seated in my kitchen, two feet from a cluster of ruby-hued dried pluots. They'd found their calling. It's a brilliant recipe, the sort you'll get a bunch of mileage out of, and most of the ingredients are available year-round. On the plate it's fresh, colorful, heady with toasted cumin, and you can prep most of it a day prior, if needed. My one regret here is not trying this recipe before the holidays. Served family-style as part of a larger spread, it'd be perfect. As it turns out, it's also a great lunch for a trip. I made it as part of our dinner the other night, and then tossed the left-overs into a jar for a quick flight up to Portland. Appropriate also because I was hoping to see Diane there (I did!).
The complete title of this recipe (as written here) should actually be Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Dried Pluots and Toasted Cumin Dressing - a mouthful, indeed. I've added a little flare to Diane's recipe by way of almonds and rose petals, mainly because they were within arms-length when I was making this, and a natural extension of the Moroccan palette at play here. As you can imagine, this is the sort of base recipe that you can add to depending on what you have on hand. I would have completely herbed it out with more mint, dill, basil, etc., if I'd had them around.
For those of you with the book already, give the mashed rutabaga a go (I don't have the book in front of me right now, but they're flecked with lots of dill). I had them at Diane's under poached eggs, doused with a mother load of hot sauce. I'm telling you, it was an ideal winter breakfast.
Morrocan Carrot and Chickpea Salad
If you're pinched for time, Diane suggests using pre-shredded carrots. I deployed my mandolin and made thin coins. I use some of the carrot tops as well, although there are mixed opinions about whether or not they're edible (or edible for everyone) - you can read more here and here.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 ounces carrots, shredded on a box grater or sliced whisper thin on a mandolin
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15- ounce can, drained and rinsed)
2/3 cup / 100 g dried pluots, plums, or dates cut into chickpea-sized pieces
1/3 cup / 30 g fresh mint, torn
For serving: lots of toasted almond slices, dried or fresh rose petals - all optional (but great additions!)
To make the dressing, first toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, a minute or two. Let cool, and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.
In a bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried pluots, mint, and almonds, and rose petals (if you're including those as well.) Gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You can toss this salad, minus the almonds, hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.)
Adapted from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan.
Prep time: 15 minutes
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It's one of this healthy meals I'mm be eating this year. It looks very tempting on your pictures and sounds like a delicious food.
I'm always on the look-out for great salads to pack for lunch and this one looks delicious. Pluots are in my top ten favorite fruits.
this is exactly what i want to be eating right now. exactly.
What an absolutely GORGEOUS salad! I adore interesting salads like this one. Thanks for sharing!
what a delicious and fresh salad. mint pairs so perfectly with chickpeas, and i love the bit of heat added to the dressing.
I've never heard of dried pluots -- is there a substitute for them if I can't find in Texas? Can't wait to try the salad!
Interesting, I'd never heard of plutos, so when I googled them I realized they were what we just refer to as plums! At least I think so.. Do these hybrids taste good?
HS: They do! You could certainly something more readily available on your end - dates, dried apricots, or even fresh fruit once winter has passed...
What camera do you use to get those gorgeous close-ups? the colors sing!
HS: Hi Taya - Thank you! I have a few (fixed) close-up lenses that I use across whatever camera I'm shooting with. I think this one was an old Leica 90mm...
I was only searching for a morroccan carrot salad at the weekend! Will definitely give this a go...no pluots here in a tiny village in the middle of England, but will try with prunes. I've got a thing about fresh carrots at the moment...my favourite is carrot, sultana, peanut and mayo salad ...something about the mix of sweet and salty....
I guess I have to buy me a new cookbook... If all the recipes are up to par with this one it's definitely a winner. Thanks for signaling this Heidi.
The colors in this salad are simply gorgeous. What a treat! I love your addition of rose petals, as well. If any salad could be considered romantic than this would be the one. Another cookbook I need.
Beautiful photos and a lovely description of the recipes in the book. I had the pleasure of leisurely flipping through it one afternoon at Mrs. Dalloway's and, as soon as the Great Cookbook Buying Hiatus of 2013 is over (I have to make it through May), I'll be adding this one to my collection.
HS: It's a really great book Katy - both as a recipe and on the reference front.
This salad leapt off the page at me, it looks so colourful and delicious. I love the combination of flavours, can't wait to give it a try.
Wow, this salad looks so beautiful!
What a beautiful salad! I love Pluots - I've never seen them dried at the store but I'm sure I could try drying them at home. Can't wait to make this recipe!
Your mention of "a cluster of ruby-hued dried pluots" has really caught my attention. Did you buy them in SF? If so, would you mind sharing where? I'd love to buy some. Thanks! -Denise
HS: Hi Denise! I get all sorts of dried fruit (including these) down at the Ferry Building Saturday market.
Dang, what a salad. I've never seen dried pluots at the store, but I would certainly buy them if I ever did. Also, traveling with you sounds so great. You always seem to pack such treats!
I can only imagine how amazing!!!! Dried Pluots would be. They are the type of fruit I cherish!! for the few weeks of the year they're around and wow, dried. In the winter in this salad. With cumin and chickepeas. Love!
what a great looking salad!
I love the idea of adding chickpeas in this! I do a Moroccan Carrot Salad, but it is less sweet with cumin and garlic... and sriracha (which I put on everyhting). The 'peas would be just the time to bulk it up!
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