Friday, October 29, 2010

Moroccan style carrots

Well, this year I grew 2 kinds of carrots, both heritage varieties. Both are traditional French types.
'Jaune Obtuse de Doubs' a yellow carrot and 'Lisse de Meaux' a long orange carrot.

Most people don't realise that orange carrots are a modern invention. Carrots naturally come in a range of colours - white and yellow from Europe, and purple from the Middle East where agriculture originated about 11000 years ago.

Jaune Obtuse is an old traditional French variety has yellow roots with blunt ("obtuse") tips that are easy to dig up with no risk of snapping, and a good strong (but sweet) carrot taste.

I selected the Lisse de Meaux as a late-season carrot, that has very long-keeping qualities once harvested, although for now they are fine in the ground until needed.

This recipe is a great little side dish, and just adds a touch extra to a meal.
I love North African food, and this is a favorite of mine, typical of Eastern Moroccan ports like Nadoor.
Its a great way to serve carrots, rather than just steamed or boiled.
It only takes 15-20 minutes so can be worked into most meal plans.
If you can't get Harissa paste, then Tabasco or piri-piri will do, but the harissa paste adds to its richness.
Fresh mint really sets off the dish, but a teaspoon of mint sauce is an alternative.
Excellent served with lamb, poultry or whitefish.
With the mint, cumin, chilli and sweetness, this really is a flavour of Maroc.
2 lbs Carrots; scraped, slice diagonally;
1/2 ts Harissa paste or hotsauce;
2 tbs light olive oil or butter;
3 Garlic cloves; thinly sliced;
1 Lemon; juice only;
2 tsp Cumin seeds; toasted and crushed;
1/2 tsp Salt;
1/2 tsp Sugar or honey;
2 tblsp Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped.

Put the carrots in a steamer basket set over boiling water.
Steam for about 5 minutes, until barely tender.
Reserve the cooking water and mix 5 tablespoons of it with the Harissa paste.

Dry roast the cumin and crush roughly in a shallow pan.
Remove the cumin, put oil or butter (I prefer this) in the pan and heat up to a medium heat.
Add the garlic, diluted Harissa paste, lemon juice, salt and sugar/honey. Mix well.
Add the carrots, then partially cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes,
until the liquid is reduced.

Stir in the mint and serve at once.

Please take the time to comment, I appreciate the effort.

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1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a good recipe, Simon. I'll give it a try some time soon.
    Maureen xx


Thanks for commenting - its cool that you took the time