I was very excited to see multi coloured carrots at the farmers market on Saturday. Apparently, long ago carrots came in all different colours. Originating in Afghanistan thousands of years ago, carrots probably began as purple or yellow roots. Purple, yellow and white carrots were imported to Europe in the 14th century, and widely grown into the 17th century. Orange carrots first appeared in Holland in the 16th century, but it took several centuries for them to become the dominant variety. We were asked to bring an international dish for Melbourne Cup lunch at the office, so I decided to make Moroccan carrot salad for lunch and take some minted couscous. I figured it would be a lovely vegetarian addition to the table, and I could make it vegan too. Normally this salad would be made with grated carrot, but I wanted something far more effective than that, so I cut my purple, white and orange carrots into ribbons. The effect was exactly what I was looking for.
Serves 4-6 as a side
|1||fresh green chilli|
|1/2||orange, zest and juice|
|2-3||medium sized purple carrots|
|2-3||medium sized white carrots|
|2-3||medium sized orange carrots|
To make the dressing, pound the garlic, chilli and mustard seeds in a mortar and pestle with the salt. Then add the cumin, paprika and chilli powder. Combine with the olive oil before adding the orange zest and juice. The dressing can be made in advance, but the purple carrots will bleed, so keep them separate till just before serving.
To make the salad, top and tail your carrots and peel if desired. Using the long blade on your vegetable grater, slice the carrots into ribbons. Then, using your kitchen knife, cut them into strips the width of linguine. Make sure you keep each different coloured carrot separate until just before serving.
To serve, combine the carrot with the dressing, mixing thoroughly. Arrange on a serving plate by taking bunches of the carrot, and laying them atop each other in a star shape. Serve with minted couscous.