I walked up to the market last Wednesday morning and was stopped completely in my tracks. Radishes! Yipee! Baby Carrots! Oh yeah! White Asparagus! I almost fainted.
Spring is really starting to sneak in, and I think it’s my favorite time of year. So much newest and freshness. The smells, the tastes, the sun and the anticipation of all that is, summer.The sign above the carrots at the market said: Carottes Nouvelles. As in 2014’s newest crop of carrots. This got me as excited as some people get for the Beaujelais Nouveau! News carrots!? All small, light orange with gorgeous green tops and so sweet tasting. No joke, I brought them home and did a sample taste with Matt just as one would sample a new wine. We sat on the deck and nibbled away. I even went so far as to compare them to one of last weeks carrots still in the fridge. Pretty crazy, I know. But mother nature is one awesome broad and I just want to savor everything she brings our way. Hope you’re getting some hits of spring wherever you are!
Moroccan Carrot & Quinoa Salad
Although fresh carrots right out of the garden don’t need much more than a good scrub, I made a big batch of this salad for my lunches this week and thought I’d share. And plus, with picnic and bbq season just around the corner, this is a great one to add to your repertoire as it can be kept in the fridge for a few days and still tastes fresh. Toss in some rocket or other spring greens (carrot tops!) for a bit of color just before serving, or add in some cooked chickpeas for a little extra bulk.
Serves 2. Double quantities to feed a crowd. Vegan + Gluten Free.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup water
- Pinch flaky sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground each ground cinnamon + ginger
- 1/4 chili flakes (more or less depending on desired heat)
- 5 medium carrots
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one orange
- 1/2 teaspoon local honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons raisins or currants
- 1/4 cup raw almonds or toasted slivered almonds
- Large handful each fresh parsley and coriander
What to do
- Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a metal sieve for about 30 secs. Add rinsed quinoa and water to a pot and season with salt. Add in spices. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, ribbon or slice the carrots and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, honey and orange juice and set aside.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork, add to the carrots along with the raisins, almonds and fresh herbs (reserve a few for the final touch). Toss everything together with your fingertips or two forks and serve or refrigerate.