Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shredded Carrots with Harissa, Feta and Mint

As a child I ate tons of carrots, so much so that once I finished a 1 lb bag in one day and my mom called the doctor to ensure I wasn't going to get some sort of Vitamin A poisoning.

When I saw these gorgeous carrots at the farmers market, I knew this was a marriage made in heaven. These are Nantes carrots, which are not usually found in stores, and are especially sweet and crisp. A few years ago I grew them in my garden and have been hooked on them ever since.

I still love carrots and eat them raw whenever I want a good snack. But I also love to gussy them up once in a while and this recipe is fantastic. When I read this recipe and saw that Smitten Kitchen had made a carrot salad with harissa, I knew I would be, well, smitten.

Smitten Kitchen prepared the dressing a bit differently, sauteing all of the ingredients together at once. But I was inspired by the harissa to use more of a Maghreb/Moroccan style of preparation so I decided to mash garlic, cumin, caraway and sugar in a mortar and pestle before sauteing in oil. Add some lemon juice and you have an amazing dressing that sings with heat and savory-ness.

Shredded Carrots with Harissa, Feta and Mint
(from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen)

1/2 lb carrots, shredded
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
3 tablespoons feta, crumbled

In a mortar and pestle mash together the caraway, cumin seeds, paprika, garlic and sugar to create a paste. Heat olive oil in skillet and add paste and cook for about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the herbs and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating, mixing in gently with a fork.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Asparagus Wonton Wrappers at The Perfect Pantry
Lentil Bolonaise at Tinned Tomatoes
New Year Noodle Soup at 101 Cookbooks


Reeni said...

I love carrots too Kirsten! Have never seen this kind before. This recipe is packed with flavor - it has to be delicious!

The Food Hunter said...

I'm a huge carrot fan too. This salad sounds delicious.