Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad
EVENT: SUNDAY FUNDAY
THEME: NATIONAL EAT A RAINBOW DAY
RECIPE: MOROCCAN RAINBOW CARROT SALAD
Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad is a colourful, healthy and delicious warm salad using coloured carrots with homemade Moroccan Spice Mix and Fresh Orange Dressing.
What Are Coloured Carrots?
Also known as Rainbow Carrots, I had the opportunity to use them for the first time during winter. Back in Kenya, we get only the orange variety so imagine the excitement when I was able to buy carrots that are yellow, red, purple, white and of course the orange one all in one pack.
It is believed that carrots originate from Afghanistan. And back then carrots were mainly used as medicinal ingredient rather than as food. Also it seems that back then carrots were deep purple, light yellow, red, white, etc and not orange. Around 1600 the Dutch cross bred yellow and red varieties to get the more popular orange carrots that we all are familiar with.
Popularity of the orange variety grew over time and the other coloured carrots lost popularity. USDA and other institutions revived the rainbow carrot cultivation through traditional breeding.
Some say that the different coloured carrots have different taste, especially when enjoyed raw. Truthfully, I found not much difference, except that the deep red ones tasted sweeter. However, nutrient wise each coloured carrot has its own health benefit because of the different natural pigments present in them.
We all know that orange carrots have carotene which is good source of Vitamin A and good for our eyes. Dark purple and black ones have anthocyanin that is good for the heart. Red carrots contain lycopene like tomatoes do. Yellow ones have xanthophylls and lutein that are help to fight cancer and are better for eye health. White ones make a good source of dietary fiber.
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THEME: NATIONAL EAT A RAINBOW DAY
Wendy who blogs at A Day In The Life On The Farm suggested we create colourful dishes to celebrate National Eat A Rainbow Day. This National Day is more for creating the benefits of eating naturally colourful fruits and vegetables as opposed to using food colours to create colourful dishes. April 3rd is celebrated as Eat A Rainbow Day, but how this day originated is a mystery. It is all about finding naturally colourful food on your plate and if you are lucky then sighting an actual rainbow in the sky.
For this theme I thought of different ideas, ways to use purees of carrots, beetroot, spinach, red cabbage, etc to make some idlis or savoury pancakes. However, the first time I saw the rainbow carrots, I knew I had to use them for the theme. Just the fact that I was able to buy different coloured carrots was exciting enough for me.
I prepared the roasted carrots twice. Once had them with honey and didn’t really enjoy them that much. So next lot I bought I tried out a salad and that was perfect as the sweetness was balanced by the spices and tangy taste from the dressing. Though it is officially spring in Canada, it still snows, rains, sleet, etc. Not yet time to enjoy cold salads. So next best thing was to roast the carrots.
So yes I now have added a delicious filling salad to my winter recipes.
Some Naturally Colourful Dishes
- Rainbow Salad Bowl – love making this healthy and filling salad during the hot season. Pleasing to the eye and taste buds too.
- Haupia – I love making this easy peasy coconut based dessert. And the best part is that you can serve it with naturally colourful fruits arranged on top.
- Knickerbocker Glory – colourful fruits served with ice cream and whipped cream. Who can resist that inviting dessert?
- Exotic Fruit Salad served with orange reduction – add colourful fruits of your choice and serve with an orange dressing.
- I love how naturally colourful my Mexican Mollete turn out with the salsa and mango topping.
- Can’t wait to go to Bali to make this eye pleasing and refreshing Summer Salad with pink dragon fruit, mango, pomello, red onion and sprouted sunflower seeds.
- Can’t wait for summer to begin so that I can make these delicious and healthy Vietnamese Spring Rolls.
Check Out How Fellow Bloggers Are Celebrating National Eat A Rainbow Day:
- Cereal and Milk Pancakes from Palatable Pastime
- Colourful Fruit Salad Pudding from Sneha’s Recipe
- Crispy Rainbow Egg Rolls from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- French Bean Watermelon Radish Salad from Food Lust People Love
- Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Naturally Dyed Rainbow Pasta from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Rainbow Roasted Vegetables from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Tomato, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad with Latholemono Dressing from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Ingredients Required For Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad:
For The Moroccan Spice Mix:
- Cumin Powder – jeera powder
- Coriander Powder – dhania powder
- Paprika –
- Cinnamon Powder – taj powder
- Pepper Powder – kali mirch. Use black or white.
- Salt – any salt of your choice. I used normal salt.
For The Orange Dressing:
- Fresh Orange Juice – best to use freshly squeezed orange juice
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice – or a good quality vinegar
- Sweetener – Maple Syrup, honey or sugar. I have used maple syrup.
- Orange Zest – grated orange peel
- Garlic – peeled and minced
- Moroccan Spice Mix – make at home or use ready made if you get any.
For The Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad:
- Rainbow Carrots – as I bought organic ones, I did not peel the carrots. I washed the carrots thoroughly before chopping them into bite size pieces. In total I used 10 carrots. Remember these carrots are thin and tender.
- Olive Oil – for mixing with the carrot before roasting them.
- Moroccan Spice Mix
- Raisins – or use any dried fruit of your choice.
- Walnuts – whole of chopped roughly.
- Fresh Mint – roughly chopped
- Seeds – I have used sunflower seeds. Can use pumpkin, sesame, chia or flax seeds.
- Feta – or any other white cheese.
- Salt – use normal salt, sea salt or rock salt.
- Greens – lettuce, rocket, kale, spinach – any of your choice. I have used baby spinach.
Watch How To Make Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Salad
MOROCCAN RAINBOW CARROT SALAD
FOR THE MOROCCAN SPICE MIX
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp paprika powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
FOR THE ORANGE DRESSING:
- 3 tbsp orange juice fresh
- 2 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup/honey
- 1 tsp orange or lemon zest
- 1 tsp Moroccan Spice Mix
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
FOR THE MOROCCAN RAINBOW CARROT SALAD
- 10-12 rainbow carrots approx. 250g
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Moroccan Spice Mix
- ½ tsp Himalayan Pink Rock Salt
- handful baby spinach or any salad leaves
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 10-12 mint leaves roughly chopped
ROAST THE RAINBOW CARROTS
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil.
- Wash the rainbow carrots properly. Wipe them with a kitchen towel.
- Chop the carrots into bite size pieces.
- Add oil and salt. Mix well.
- Spread the carrots out on the prepared tray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes till they become a little tender. I prefer roasted carrots with a bit of crunchy and not completely cooked.
PREPARATION OF THE MOROCCAN SPICE MIX:
- While the carrots are roasting, prepare the spice mix.
- Mix all the ingredients for the spices.
PREPARATION OF ORANGE DRESSING:
- Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a mixing bowl or a jar.
- If you are using a jar, close the top tightly and give the dressing a good shake.
- If you're using a bowl, whisk the ingredients well.
PREPARATION OF MOROCCAN RAINBOW CARROT SALAD
- Remove the roasted carrots from the oven.
- Add them to a bowl.
- Add the Moroccan Spice Mix. Mix well.
- Add feta, mint, raisins, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
- Mix well.
- Add chopped spinach or any salad leaves.
- Add the dressing and toss the salad.
- Serve immediately.
- If you want to sprinkle some more of the Moroccan Spice Mix on the salad, go ahead. Makes the salad more flavourful.
- If you don't get rainbow carrots then use any carrots that are available.
- Use any other dried fruit like cranberries, dates, apricots, etc instead of raisins.
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