Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad
Fragrant spices, bright colors, sweet and savory flavors — this Moroccan salad is a feast for the senses. It’s essentially an exotic twist on the classic carrot-raisin salad, yet you don’t need any exotic ingredients to make it. The magic is made with spices you likely already have in your spice cabinet. You can serve it with my Grilled Moroccan Chicken, Grilled Moroccan Meatballs or, for a lighter meal, my autumn-spiced Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup. I even like it all by itself, especially on those nights when I’m just cooking for myself and don’t need to worry about a protein and two sides, or who will eat what (picky eaters, you know who you are!).
The list of ingredients looks long but, as you can see, it’s mostly just a lot of spices. If you have a food processor, this is a good time to use it. If not, you can grate the carrots by hand or buy them already shredded and bagged from the supermarket.
Begin by making the dressing. You’ll need the zest and juice of one large lemon. Be sure to zest the lemon before you juice it, otherwise it will be impossible.
You’ll also need the juice from one orange. You don’t need a citrus juicer like this one — you can just squeeze the juice out with your hands — but it does make the job a little easier.
Whisk the lemon zest and citrus juice with the olive oil, honey and spices.
Set the dressing aside. Next, toast the almonds. Simply place them on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up and bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Keep a close eye on them; they go from perfectly golden to burnt very quickly!
Next, add all of the salad ingredients to the bowl with the dressing.
Toss well, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, but preferably several hours. The salad tastes infinitely better cold, especially once the flavors have had a chance to marry.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then serve cold. Enjoy!
Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from one large lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from one large orange
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Salad
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup currants
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see note below)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint or cilantro (or a combination), plus more for serving
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots, from one large shallot
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- In a large bowl (large enough to mix the entire salad), whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing.
- To the dressing, add all of the ingredients for the salad and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (you might need more salt, lemon or honey, depending on the sweetness of the carrots). Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with more fresh chopped herbs. Serve cold.
- Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the almonds on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are golden.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 312
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 40g
- Sugar: 19g
- Fiber: 9g
- Protein: 8g
- Sodium: 522mg
- Cholesterol: 0mg
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