CHARRED MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD
In Morocco, a selection of cold salads is commonly served as a starter course to any meal, accompanied by freshly baked bread, olives & condiments, and eaten in much the same way as one would eat mezze.
This carrot salad is a staple of Moroccan cuisine, steamed, diced and then dressed with little more than some best-quality paprika, olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
I've pimped it up a little with the addition of harissa creme fraiche, and by charring the carrots over fire for an added hit of smokiness.
HARISSA CRÈME FRAICHE
50g rose harissa
100g crème fraiche
½ lemon, juiced
1½ tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
½ tbsp smoked paprika
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp candy-pickled sultanas (see recipe, page XX)
½ tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 preserved lemon, rind-only, thinly sliced
A few picked dill or tarragon fronds
FOR THE HARISSA CREME FRAICHE
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to incorporate. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt and pepper.
FOR THE CHARRED CARROT SALAD
1. Toss the carrots in a bowl with the olive oil and season liberally with salt and black pepper.
2. Build yourself a small fire or set a barbecue up for grilling over medium heat. Alternatively, set a cast iron pan over high heat until smoking hot and turn your extraction fan on to full.
3. Char the carrots until blackened all over then turn once to char the reverse side. The carrots should be tender to a knife, with a lovely blackened crust on the outside. Remove from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.
4. Dice the carrots into roughly ½” size pieces, then toss in the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, paprika and chopped herbs. Season liberally with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spoon the harissa crème fraiche onto the base of a plate, add the dressed carrots on top, and garnish with candy-pickled sultanas, pine nuts and thinly sliced preserved lemon rind. Finish the plate with a few picked dill leaves strewn all over.