Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and mint.

I have been obsessing over this salad for a year now.
A year ago I bought a jar of harissa, imported and infused with rose petals.
But I never got around to making this salad. I am not sure why.
Then I went back to my hometown, forgot about the salad. Until I returned to my husbands house and country and found the jar again.

It's been on my list of future side dishes ever since.
The carrot salads I grew up with are not very exciting. Grated apples, grated carrots, some lemon juice, some sugar. It was nice when I was a kid.
This, on the other hand, is a grown up salad.
It's spicy (if you know the spice level of your harissa; I didn't and would want more next time) and fresh, a bit salty from the cheese. It's all sorts of spices and flavors but not overwhelming.

And it's simple to prepare too. You can make it in advance. 
And it keeps well too. In fact, I made the whole batch for dinner (with barbecued chicken) and had it for lunch the next couple of days. I didn't add the feta cheese until I was ready to eat. Every time.

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint

Carrot Salad with harissa, feta and mint
Adapted from smittenkitchen.com who adapted it from a reader.

3/4 pound (330grams) carrots, grated 
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove  garlic, crushed (MM: I used two.)
1/4 teaspoon ground caraway
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (MM: I would use a little more next time to give the dish a little more punch.)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons mint, finely chopped (MM: If you love mint, add a little more. I know I will, next time.)
100 grams feta, cumbled

In a small pan sauté the garlic, cumin, caraway, paprika, harissa and sugar in oil for a minute and two until fragrant. Take off the heat and pour it over the grated carrots in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. 
Add the herbs and let everything infuse for about an hour (I made the salad around noon, covered it and stored it in the fridge until dinner time).
When you are ready to eat: Add the feta cheese and mix.

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