Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Carrot Couscous Salad

I've been really terrible at remembering to bring a packed lunch to work, so this salad was supposed to inspire me to actually take it with me to the office. It worked! This couscous-based mix is so flavorful and definitely exciting enough to look forward to for lunch. And it holds up well in the fridge since there's no lettuce involved. 

 I made this salad after looking at a few recipes for Moroccan carrot salads. My version is nice and simple and does not include a dressing since I wanted it to be able to sit in the fridge for a couple days. Here are two other examples of Moroccan carrot salads: Smitten Kitchen's carrot salad and a couscous carrot salad from The Wright Recipes. And I just saw (after having made this salad about a week ago) that 101 Cookbooks posted an amazing-looking Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad yesterday! 

I have a bunch of lunch salads bookmarked to try in the next few weeks. I also have a lot of recipes for thing I made in the last few weeks when my camera was MIA (like a raspberry jam and brie pizza and a caper and rosemary focaccia-type bread), so hopefully I'll be making those thing again soon! 
Carrot Couscous Salad

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous (about 1 box)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp turmeric (optional)

Prepare the couscous by pouring the orange juice, olive oil and water into a medium saucepan and adding the cinnamon and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the couscous and keep covered for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked into the grains. Mix with a fork.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shallot, minced
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil

Crush and combine everything but the oil with a mortar and pestle. Then saute in the oil over medium heat for a couple minutes. It will smell very nice.

6-7 medium carrots
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 tsp lemon zest

Grate the carrots. This is by far the most time consuming part. I ate a ton of carrot bits in the process of grating them all. At first Twilly was all excited because he thought I was grating cheese but then he was like ugh, it's just carrots. Then mix everything up in a large bowl - the couscous (if you made it first, it should be slightly cooled by now), the garlic and shallot oil, the carrots, parsley, mint, almonds, feta and lemon zest. Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper if you want. 

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