This salad uses a traditional North African dressing called charmoula--a mixture of oil, garlic, citrus, herbs, cumin, and salt. I find that this recipe works best with carrots, because their sweetness is a perfect pairing for the pungent dressing, but boiled, cubed potatoes with a chopped boiled egg would also be delicious. Toasting and then grinding the whole cumin seeds is really the key to this recipe--it gives the dressing a deep, earthy aroma.
- 8-10 large carrots, peeled
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add carrots whole, and turn down to simmer for 8 minutes. Remove carrots to a bowl of ice water.
- Meanwhile, toast cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium flame for 45-60 seconds, until they are beginning to brown and smell fragrant. Pour into a large mortar and pestle. Add garlic and salt, and pulverize. Add oil, lemon juice, paprika, cinnamon, and cilantro, mixing well before after addition.
- Remove carrots from water and pat dry. Slice on an angle into ⅛ inch rounds. In a large non-reactive glass bowl, toss with the dressing. Chill for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.