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 Beaujolais Nouveau! New 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 lady 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 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon harissa
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
7 medium carrots
3 tablespoons raisins or currants
1/3 cup raw almonds or toasted slivered almonds
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
Large handful each fresh parsley and coriander, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons tahini
Juice of one orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 – 1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt and pepper
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 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork then stir in the raisins and allow them to plump up in the warm quinoa.
While the quinoa is cooking, ribbon or slice the carrots and place in a large bowl. Add in the almonds, onion and herbs. Toss with quinoa. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar and shake until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, as tahini for a thicker dressing or a splash of water to thin. I like to start with 1/2 tablespoon honey and add more as needed.
Toss everything together then serve or refrigerate. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
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