Monday, November 7, 2011

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Salad

Yum. Not only is this a very pretty salad with lots of beautiful colours- it also tastes pretty incredible. It's loaded with contrasting textures and flavours and I couldn't possibly be happier with its outcome.

I wasn't supposed to make this for dinner, but I didn't have time to buy groceries and had to make something with the ingredients I had at home. I found some french green lentils, carrots, one shallot, garlic, yogurt, lemon and some cilantro on its deathbed and thought....Moroccan Salad!

So this was born out of scraps, but one would never tell... if you take the time to plate it properly it will look too good to eat!

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch sticks
6 cloves garlic, lightly pressed (want to keep it pretty much in tact)
1 shallot cut in half
1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1/2 teaspoon coriander, cumin and garam masala powder
a couple sprigs of coriander
salt and pepper to taste

cook 1/4 cup lentils and 2 cloves garlic in lots of salted boiling water and cook until desired tenderness is reached. I cook it for about 25 minutes. I like a bit of bite. Drain and reserve

In the meantime heat oven to 400. Line a baking tray with tinfoil and toss carrots, garlic and shallots in 1 tablespoon olive oil, ras el hanout, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender and have charred a little.

When cooked, remove the shallot and garlic from their skins (reserve two garlic cloves) and place them in a bowl with the carrots and lentils. Place the reserved cloves and coriander in a mortar and pestle and pound till it forms a paste. Add the yogurt, lemon, 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil,  juice and a good pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) into the mortar and pestle and blend. You can add chili flakes to it for heat if you like. Spoon over the salad and toss just before serving!

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