Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Morroccan Chickpea-Carrot Salad with Mint and Dried Plums

Good Final

I recently taught a workshop at one of my favorite Bay Area spots – the Oaktown Spice Shop. Titled “Hummus and Spice,” the class focused on a layering approach to making the ideal hummus: Get the basic chickpea-tahini-lemon-garlic ratio right, sprinkle with your preferred spice, and throw on your favorite topping. Voilà! With the additional guidance of Oaktown’s spice wizard John Beaver, we discovered that a simple change in spice can completely transform this basic dip.

But there was also a larger moral to the story: fresh ingredients matter. Sure, you can cut corners here and there. We all do. I don’t always toast nuts before throwing them in a salad (gasp!) or squeeze my own fresh lemon juice by hand (the horror!). But for recipes like this salad from 101 Cookbooks, a little extra effort goes a long way. Dried chickpeas (rather than canned) give the salad a cleaner, nuttier taste. Toasted whole cumin seeds infuse the dressing with a robust warmth. Most importantly, using a higher-end olive oil – one reserved in the cupboard only for special occasions – binds this salad with the subtle, fruity flavor only found in a quality oil.

This salad is hearty on its own, but for a light summer meal, try it with our Flatbread with Nigella Seeds and Limonana Popsicles for dessert. –jaime

P.S. My favorite “special” quality oil is Mediterranean Gourmet’s Marrakech – see the photo below! I bought it at Surfa’s in Los Angeles.

Ingredients
Serves 6

~Dressing~

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

~Salad~

10 ounces carrots, shredded sliced thin on a mandolin
2 cups cooked chickpeas (look at the bottom of our chickpea page for Mark Bittman’s “Quick Soak/Cook Method”)
2/3 cup dried pluots or plums, cut into chickpea-sized pieces
1/3 cup fresh mint, torn
Garnish: 3 tablespoons toasted almond slices

Directions

1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet for a minute or two until fragrant and lightly browned. Grind to a powder with a coffee/spice grinder, with a mortar and pestle, or chop into tiny pieces with a large knife if you’re feeling lazy.

2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (cumin through cayenne) and set aside.

3. In a serving bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried stone fruit, and mint. Toss until thoroughly mixed. Add in the dressing, then toss until mixed again. Done.

Note: This salad can be served immediately, but is even better when it sits for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Add the almonds just before serving.

Good Chickpea

Good oil

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3 comments on “Mezze: Morroccan Chickpea-Carrot Salad with Mint and Dried Plums

  1. Pingback: Inspiring Ingredient: Mint | Mezze & Dolce

  2. Pingback: Dolce: Basil-Polenta Breakfast Cake with Roasted Nectarines | Mezze & Dolce

  3. Pingback: Cumin | Our Five Favorite Recipes | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Legumes, Mezze, Salads, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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