When our friends Mike and Jo returned from a summer trip to the Middle East, they kindly brought us back a box of magnificent dates. (They're nature's caramel, people!) Then our latest vege box yielded half a dozen or more cute little carrots and I thought of a recipe that my dad's wife Anne has served on a couple of my visits. It features lightly steamed carrots, which are dressed in a Morocco-inspired mix of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, some herbs and spices and, of course, chopped dates. I emailed Anne for the recipe over lunch and she responded when she arrived home from work, just in time for me to adapt it for dinner that night. I phoned them for a catch-up chat at 9, and she was delighted to hear that we'd already managed to prepare and devour it.
Since I was working from the pantry I didn't have everything required for the original recipe. I replaced the lemon juice with pomegranate molasses and reduced the oil, and used dried parsley for a bit of green in lieu of the coriander. While it probably wasn't quite so fresh, it tasted great! I'm starting to wonder if there's anything, sweet or savoury, that doesn't taste terrific with pomegranate molasses.
We ate this salad with some mixed green leaves and faux chicken kievs. They're based on this recipe by melbedggood. Ours were pleasant enough, though some of the alterations I made didn't really work - I'm looking forward to blogging it properly in the future when I get it right.
Morroco-inspired carrot salad
(based on a recipe at entertaining made easy)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
pinch of garlic powder
generous pinch of cumin
generous pinch of chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
4 dates, finely chopped
Peel the carrots and slice them into thick rounds. Cook them in boiling water until just tender.
While the carrots are cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
When the carrots are ready, drain them and add them to the bowl, tossing them to coat them in the dressing. Serve!