When I was young, the only way you’d see me with a raw carrot or piece of celery was when most of it was covered in dressing-probably ranch. You know how kids are; I may have basically put my entire hand in the dressing to down the fresh carrot. Then, someone threw me a look and suddenly, I felt ashamed but wasn’t quite sure why…I was eating a healthy vegetable?
A recipe like the one today would’ve had my head spinning, not in a good way, like the exorcist. I am still not a huge fan of uncooked celery. Cooked carrots and I are better now, especially when they are tossed with a spice/herb dressing and olives. Yep, another recipe with olives. When they are on sale, I grab them like there’s no tomorrow.
If the above scenario sounds like your kids and you are attempting to get them to try new things, don’t also tell them that this is considered a salad-a carrot salad probably wouldn’t go over well but it’s a great way to introduce a Moroccan-inspired dish. You can omit the olives or leave them off of your child’s plate and if you aren’t a cilantro fan, skip that and add parsley. Reduce the amount of heat by skipping or adding less crushed red pepper flakes as well. There will be plenty of flavor left with the remaining herbs and spices. If you are a fan of all of these things and don’t have children requiring adjustments to the recipe, go all out and enjoy all of the delicious flavors!
Thank Bon Appetit’s June 1998 edition for this one. I added toasted black sesame seeds, substituted green olives (with pimento) for the dark olives and did not place cilantro in the picture but recommend it in the salad.
Cooked Carrot Salad with Toasted Cumin Dressing adapted from Bon Appetit
1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into diagonal coin shapes
½ cup water
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, chopped (or another onion)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 tsp toasted black sesame seeds-optional
¼ cup kalamata olives, green olives with pimento or other brine-cured olive, pitted and sliced
Combine the carrots, ½ cup water, garlic, coriander seeds and red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until tender but still slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Uncover and cook until the water evaporates, a minute or two. Place carrot mixture into a large bowl and cool slightly.
Meanwhile, stir cumin in a skillet over low heat until fragrant, about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice and oil. Pour over carrot mixture, toss and cool. Toast sesame seeds (if you desire) and set aside. In another bowl, mix onion, cilantro and olives. Pour over the carrot mixture, toss and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Bon Appetit says this can be made 2 hours ahead of time but I think it would be better served immediately following its finish.