To accompany a braised lamb, I chose a spiced carrot salad, a favorite standby of mine. I like to spoon it into a lettuce leaf for a first course or serve it as a side dish. Made with the freshest carrots, it always delights. Though most Moroccan salads are made with cooked vegetables, my version uses slivered raw carrots instead.
The lemony carrots taste lovely just as the recipe is written, perfumed with toasted cumin and coriander, a hint of garlic and a touch of cayenne. But the recipe is versatile. If you want to splash out, try adding a pinch of cinnamon and a topping of fluffy chopped cilantro and thinly sliced jalapeño. Or add crumbled feta and olives.
Carrot salad with cumin and coriander
• 1 pound medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks or grated
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
• 1 small garlic clove, grated
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
• Pinch of ground cayenne
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons preserved lemon, finely diced (optional)
• Whole mint leaves, for serving
Put carrots in a medium bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Taste, and adjust seasoning. Leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish.
To serve, sprinkle with preserved lemon, if you like, and garnish with mint leaves.
Total time: 20 minutes, serves 4-6.