I found purple carrots at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago – those I prefer not to cook to preserve its unexpected color. In this Purple Carrot Salad with Argan Oil – the carrots take center stage enhanced by the exotic nutty flavor of argan oil, though any nut oil can be used in its place.
My first exposure to argan oil was in Claudia Roden’s exquisite book, Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. I could not find it anywhere a few years ago, but recently stumbled on it browsing the oils section of a local kitchen supply store. It was a splurge I could not resist and have been very stingy in using it in my dishes. It was also the perfect final ingredient to my carrot slaw.
Argan oil is derived from the pits of the ancient argan fruit tree indigenous to Morocco and is one of the rarest oils in the world. In Morocco it’s used in tagines, salads, couscous, and grilled vegetables. It pairs beautifully with citrus, like Roden’s Orange Salad with Olives (easily found on the web). It’s becoming a popular beauty ingredient as well for its anti-aging and skin healing properties.
Purple Carrot Salad with Argan Oil
If you cannot find argan oil replace with walnut, macadamia, or other nut oil.
2 pounds purple carrots, or other variety, grated
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
Juice and zest of one organic orange (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice)
3 tablespoons argan oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
pinch of sea salt
1. Combine grated carrots, pecans, and dried cranberries in a serving bowl.
2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over carrot mixture.
3. Toss and serve.