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.

Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad

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!).

Moroccan Carrot Salad RecipeMoroccan Carrot Salad Recipe

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.

Moroccan Carrot Salad RecipeMoroccan Carrot Salad Recipe

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.

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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.

Dressing:
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.)

Serves 6.

Adapted from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan.

Prep time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

The color of the pluots has my tastebuds watering. I ordered some on line and will try them in this recipe along with my dried roses, hopefully this weekend. Be patient my tastebuds!

Debbie

Hello Heidi, I love everything about this salad and want to try it - though I am not a lover of cumin. Can you suggest an alternative spice that would work? Thank you!

HS: Hi Heather, you can swap whatever vinaigrette you like here, really. I imagine a black olive vinaigrette could be really great, or a simple lemon-vinaigrette with a kiss of cream? Lovely shop, btw!

Heather

Looks really great! I might try it tomorrow :)

Samuel

This salad sounds wonderful. I am going to have to hunt my farmer's market for dried pluots!

Julie Schwarz/The Conscious Kitchen

Looks great Heidi. I love this take on a carrot salad. I have noticed a salad theme on lots of blogs this month- certainly craving lighter fare after all the holiday treats! Happy New Year.

Melissa

I'm planning a Paleo version of this with lightly-cooked cauliflower instead of the garbanzos.

Rachel

Hi Heidi - could you let us know where you get/source your dried plums?

HS: Hi Jennie, I get them at my local farmers market, not 100% sure where I got these exact ones, but I think Frog Hollow might sell some through their site...

jennie

I love Diane's new book and have not made this yet but will. Made the mashed rutabagas with Greek Yogurt and parsley (because that's what i had) and am having the leftovers for lunch today. So good. Sorry I missed you on your PDX trip. I hope you were actually here on of the dry days we've recently had:)! Happy New Year!

HS: Ack, super bummed I missed you K! I just didn't quite pull it together. I'll be back up again soon. xo

Katherine

SWOON. not sure if i want to eat the salad first, or the photo. as usual, you're a constant source of inspiration. cheers to the new year and more hs! xo

ariyele ressler

I have never come up on dried pluots but I would think that raisins or cherries could work or i see,dates. This salad just sings to me and how wonderful for this cold winter. Would you consider sharing a list of your favorite shopping sites-selfishly for those of us who live here in the SF region?

HS: Hi Clymela, here's a list of some of my favorite San Francisco spots.

Clymela Box

Fabulous!

Kelly Turnbull

It's not often I have to look up what a food is..but Pluot was new to me.LOL Oh, how beautiful they are and I can hardly wait to try some. I grew chickpeas last summer, the taste fresh is intense and tender. I'm trying to grow Cumin this year so I can 2 of my favourite flavours out of the garden. Thanks for this recipe Heidi! I looked at the Roots cookbook and think it is a must have. My favourite root this year that I grew (it, took 8 months!) Is Celeriac. Looking forward to your yummy photos through our dreary winter:) thanks for the inspiration and HAppy NEw Year!

carol spencer

Oh wow - I can smell these herbs through the computer screen. Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne @ RollWithIt

Oooh, rose petals! What a fun addition to a savory dish.

jaime @ sweet road

What an absolutely stunning salad! Great idea.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

This looks so happy and colorful for January and can't wait to try it. Agree with another comment that it would be a great lunch to bring to work. I didn't know one could get dried pluots, do you know where they are sold? Whole Foods?

HS Hi Anne - I get these at my local farmers market, but you can experiment with other types of dried fruit.

Anne

Thanks Heidi...will have to try that. I was thinking the other day to use the dried rose petals I bought last summer to brighten up the (currently) grey and miserable January here in Berlin. This has inspired me. And with chickpeas you can never go wrong.

Michael Kplus

That is a beautiful salad. I have never seen dried pluots but they do have fresh ones at the Farmers Market.

Tami@NutmegNotebook.com

BEAUTIFUL, Heidi! Happy New Year!

The Healthy Apple

This looks positively dreamy! Gorgeous photos, as usual.

Charlotte au chocolat

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