Sunday, May 09, 2010

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Ok, I just made the best salad, so good that I had to stop right now, my belly close to bursting, and tell you about it.

But first, I have to tell you that yesterday we went to the Grand Lake Farmers Market, specifically to have lunch at our friend Jenya's booth. She's one of the proprietors and chefs of Vesta Flatbread, and we are big fans of not only Jenya, but of all the wonderful culinary delights created by the folks at Vesta. If you live in the Bay area, please do yourself a favor and go enjoy a Vesta Flatbread sandwich and beverage.

I guarantee you that once you've tried it, you'll be hooked. Jenya & her partner Traci use only the finest, highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. And they create delicious offerings whether you are a carnivore or a vegetarian.

So while we were at the market, we picked up some beautiful, crunchy, super sweet baby carrots from the Happy Boy Farm booth. If you're used to eating those bagged peeled baby carrots, trust me, there is no comparison. These baby carrots are so good you can just basically eat them straight up, and I frequently do!

But tonight, I thought it would be good to feature them in a salad, and it so happened that I had mint in the garden and greek yogurt and homemade harrisa in the fridge. Once I got to chopping and slicing, it didn't take long to realize that I was onto something inspired, something I know will be making regular appearances in our kitchen. The following description is more of a guide since I didn't really measure anything, but hopefully you'll get the picture, and feel free to improvise as you see fit!

First, peel (or don't, if you don't feel inspired to do so) enough fresh baby carrots so you have about a small handful for each person at the table. Then chop them into bite sized pieces and drizzle a little olive oil over them, and sprinkle with salt.

For each serving, you'll want to plop a small dollop of yogurt into a bowl, and stir into that yogurt about a teaspoon or so of harissa. Stir it up and then stir it into the carrots. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into it and give it another stir. Thinly slice about 2-3 mint sprigs per serving, and stir those into the salad. If you feel like it, top it with a little crushed red pepper. Dig in and crunch away.