Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint

I made this carrot salad a while ago, with harissa that I brought back from Jean Talon Market specifically for this (I couldn’t find any at my local grocery store here and figured I should get some at La Dépense while I was in Montreal). I reduced the amount of harissa to a scant ¼ tsp (down from ¾ tsp), but it was still too spicy for me. The mint and feta do tame it somewhat, but I still didn’t enjoy it – and of course, with feta, it’s not lactose-free. I’ll make a change to the recipe and tell you to use 1 lb of carrots instead of ¾ lb (otherwise, you’re left with two carrots in the bag, and who wants that?); if you enjoy spicy food, this might be right up your alley. As for me, I feel like if I ever made it again, I’d omit the harissa altogether.

1 lb carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic (I minced mine)
½ tsp caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (I used seeds but ground them first)
¾ tsp cumin seeds or about half as much, ground (I used the seed but ground them first)
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp to ¾ tsp harissa (this depends on your taste)
½ tsp sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
100 g feta, crumbled or chopped into bits

In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the herbs and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.

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