This is delicious and different, with both roasted and raw carrots, the warmth of cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger, and the surprising kick of mint. I’ve adapted it from the Love Lemons Everyday cookbook I reviewed here. The author has been to Morocco and this was her favorite recipe there. I can see why.
Please note, that it is worth finding French green lentils; they are much better than other varieties. Also multicolored carrots are not essential, but are more fun than carrots of all one color. Here, they are readily available, and I get mine at Trader Joes. I picked out the predominant color to roast, and sliced the other color thinly to remain raw.
If you don’t care about it being vegan and want to jazz this up further, a sprinkling of feta cheese would not go amiss. My husband adds a bit of roasted chicken to his. I like it just as it is shared here.
This recipe makes four servings. The leftovers are just as good out of the refrigerator, if set out until room temperature, and then put on their bed of arugula and mint.
Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad with Lentils Recipe
1 cup dry French Green lentils
8 medium rainbow carrots (6 chopped into 1/2 pieces for roasting, 2 sliced paper thin)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting carrots
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for roasting carrots
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 pepitas, toasted and salted
4 cups arugula
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil, and then add the lentils and cook for 20 minutes, turning down the temperature partway through. Drain and set aside.
Spread the chopped carrots on a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until tender and starting to brown.
While the carrots are roasting, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander, the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the lentils, sliced raw carrots, pepitas, and lemon juice to the bowl and stir well.
Remove the carrots from the oven, and while they are still warm, toss them with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and coriander. Then add them to the lentil mixture and toss to combine.
To serve, place a cup of arugula and several leaves of fresh mint on a salad plate and top each with a 1/4 of the lentil/carrot mixture.