Follow this recipe for Moroccan Carrots for a tasty vegan side dish or salad. Compliant for Paleo and Whole 30 and Kosher for Passover too.
Looking to start the Jewish new year off with healthy and delicious recipes? No Jewish holiday is complete without an abundance of yummy food. Check out my roundup of Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes to add something new to your menus this year.
My friend Janice learned to cook from her Moroccan Mother in-law. Their tasty food is loaded with flavor from the fragrant spices that are the signature of every dish they make. Our families spend all the holidays together and whenever we are discussing the menu, it always includes “the carrots.”
As soon as you taste them, you’ll know why. I’ve been making The Zafrani Family carrot salad for at least 15 years now. I love how they are perfectly spiced, and just a bit firm. My family never tires of this recipe. And, I am happy to make them, the recipe is so easy.
I just love a good recipe that has secrets! I’m going to share one of the secrets to making awesome Moroccan carrots. BOIL THEM WHOLE. Who would have thought? Not only does it save time, but they hold their shape and flavor better too! In addition, they are so much easier to cut when they’re already cooked.
Making Moroccan Carrots
Step One: Prep the carrots. Trim and then either scrub well or peel the carrots.
Step Two: Cook the carrots. Place carrots in a sauce pan and cover by 2″ with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, but still firm. The important piece here is to check them early so they don’t get mushy.
Step Three: Rapidly cool the carrots so they keep their bite. The easiest way to do this is is to have an ice bath waiting and immerse the cooked carrots into the bath.
Step Four: Drain the carrots and pat dry. The cooked carrots will be so easy to slice! You can hold the carrot with a fork in one hand and use any knife to quickly slice into rounds. Once they’re sliced and in a bowl, it will be time to spice them.
Step Five: Add seasonings. Use a garlic press to squeeze the garlic into the bowl. Drizzle in the oil and vinegar. Then sprinkle on the spices and mix well.
The best carrot recipe.
Until I got this recipe from Janice and Max, I tried many others. What did all the Moroccan Carrot recipes have in common? They all had carrots, garlic, vinegar and spices. So, there was a similar flavor, but the texture and taste of the other paled compared to these.
Why is this recipe better? Remember the secret I told you earlier? Cooking the carrots whole. GAME CHANGER. I already told you how much easier it is to slice the carrots, but there’s another benefit. The carrots all cook evenly, so there are no little pieces that are overcooked and mushy.
Also, the ratio of spices and vinegar is important. This recipe, to me, is the perfect combo. Tangy and with the perfect amount of spice. I may have strayed from the original recipe over the years. I think the parsley is my addition. We still call them Janice’s carrots in our house!
THE carrots are an essential part of a Zafrani holiday meal. What do you think is essential to meals (holiday or not) in this house? If you guessed guacamole, you’re absolutely right! Once a Cali Girl, always a Cali Girl!
- 3 lbs. carrots*
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika*
- 2 teaspoons cumin*
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh parsley* chopped
- Prepare carrots: Trim and then either scrub well or peel. Place carrots in a sauce pan, cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer uncovered.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath for the carrots so you can promptly stop the cooking process when carrots are done.
- Carrots will take 12-20 minutes, depending on size. Large carrots take about 15 minutes. It is best not to overcook, the carrots taste best when al dente. Carrots are done when you can prick with a fork easily.
- Transfer carrots, with tongs, to waiting ice bath.
- Drain carrots when cool.
- Slice into ¼" rounds. Press garlic onto carrots, drizzle oil, vinegar and sprinkle on spices. Mix well to fully distribute spices. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and mix well.
- Spiced carrots will stay good in the fridge for up to a week. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- 3 pounds is approximately 10-12 extra large carrots.
- Paprika: If you don’t have sweet/hot, then use a total of 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of whatever paprika you do have (turkish, smoked, etc) and add in 1 teaspoon white pepper or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to bring some heat to the carrots.
- Omit the cumin during Passover
- If fresh parsley isn’t available, use cilantro to garnish.