I developed a whole new appreciation for salad during my trip to Israel, thanks to the Israeli habit of serving salads with every meal of the day.
For two weeks, there was salad with breakfast, salad with lunch, and salad with dinner.
I'm obviously pretty familiar with the concept of salad for lunch or dinner, but it did take me a little while to adapt to the idea of a big plate of salad for breakfast.
Then again, I'm pretty sure the Israelis are just as puzzled by the North American habit of eating big chunks of fatty, salty meat with our breakfast, so I guess we're even.
Since I just picked the first of this year's carrots from our little backyard patch, this simple salad with a Moroccan-inspired blend of flavours seemed like a perfect way to keep my newfound salad obsession going.
A quick blanching brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots, which is then accented with a spicy lemony dressing full of cumin and paprika, while fine shreds of fresh mint to cool the tongue and briny chunks of soft, creamy feta provide a hint of saltiness.
Just to shake things up, I used a few different kinds of rainbow-coloured heirloom carrots for this dish, including some amazing dark purple ones and pale yellow ones I found at the farmers' market down the street.
It makes for a really pretty presentation, though the flavour is just as good with classic orange if that's all you've got on hand.
I'm not sure if I'd be willing to trade it in for a my favourite breakfast of sunny-side-up eggs with peameal bacon and rye toast just yet, but it's definitely a nice alternative when I'm in the mood for something different (and perhaps a little less fattening).
Moroccan-ish Carrot Salad
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Show off the sweetness of fresh summer carrots in this Moroccan-inspired salad, featuring tender carrot slices tossed with a spiced lemon vinaigrette, shredded fresh mint and crumbled feta. For an extra-pretty presention, try it with multi-coloured heirloom carrots!
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp ground paprika (preferably hot)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper
- Handful mint leaves, chopped
- Handful crumbled feta
- Blanch the carrots for 2 minutes in a large pot of boiling water, then plunge into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Once the carrots are completely cooled, drain and transfer to a pretty salad bowl.
- Using a dry skillet, toast the cumin and caraway over high heat for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Grind into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- Combine the cumin and caraway mixture with the paprika and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Whisk until blended, then pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Set aside to let the flavours meld, about 20-30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle salad with handfuls of chopped mint and crumbled feta.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 2 mins
- Category: Salads
- Method: Blanched
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Marsha Hallet says
I am not much of a cook, but love Israeli salads. This was easy to prepare and delicious for dinner with my poached lemon chicken.
So glad you enjoyed the salad, Marsha. I love the sound of serving it with a poached lemon chicken... nice and light and summery!
Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen says
Hey Isabelle! Found you through Foodbuzz. Gorgeous salad, with some of my favorite spices! And your photography is beautiful too. I gather from your post that you just went to Israel. I go there often, and got into the habit of eating Israeli salad with breakfast a few times a week-- love it! Looking forward to following your blog. :)
Thanks for the sweet comments, Tori. Based on your blog name, I'm guessing we might have a thing or two in common. :)
It's been nearly nine months since my Israel trip, but I loved every minute of it (though I was working for most of my stay, so I didn't get to see as much as I would've liked) Hope to go back someday!
I too had some heirloom carrots so I used your recipe for this tasty salad. Delicious! It's such a beautiful presentation with all of those colors and the freshly ground spices make it hard to stop eating. I added some sumac to the spice mix which may have m=complimented the lemon even more. Thank you for posting this and many happy travels.
I am making this for sure, thanks!
Lawyer Loves Lunch says
I love hearing about international food customs. You'll totally have to share more about Israeli food! In the meantime, I'll try this salad (for lunch!) :)
Papilles et Pupilles says
Very yummy :)
Pam @ Kitchen Cookware says
I love eating salads with most meals too! Eating well balanced meal is sometime hard but when we cook delicious meals, it can be easily achieved.
OOOHHHHH - can't wait to try this. Love the flavors!! Kate @kateiscooking
This looks awesome! Love the picture!
Jamie Dougherty says
This looks so good! I love salads any time of the day. I've got some goat cheese that I know will go perfectly with this. Thanks!
penny aka jeroxie says
I like this version of moroccan carrot salad. It uses slice instead of juliene carrots. And nice touch on the caraway seeds.
Salad for breakfast is an interesting thought. I'm not sure how I feel about it. The salad recipe you've posted here though looks wonderful!
Baking Barrister says
Please share with me what a breakfast salad would look like. I'm all for adding tons of veggies to breakfast, but a salad unto itself?!
A SPICY PERSPECTIVE says
What a great looking dish!