Moroccan Carrot, Date, and Grape Salad
The aromatic quality of this salad is provided through the use of orange flower water which is distilled from fresh orange blossoms. Orange flower water can be found in specialty and mid-eastern markets or delis. If you are unable to use orange flower water, you can leave it out, but I’d encourage you to use it if at all possible. A small clove of garlic is key, this isn’t supposed to have a heavy garlic flavor as it would overwhelm the orange flavors. I prefer to use a rasp zester for mincing the garlic the pieces are as small as possible.
When I prepared this on my Facebook Live show I served it with Nigerian Beef Suya which provided a spicy contrast to the savory sweet flavor of the salad. It’s also a good accompaniment to grilled or roasted lamb.
Yield: About 6-8 servings
3 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons orange flower water
grated zest of 1 orange
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
7 medium carrots, peeled
¾ cup dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups red grapes, cut in half
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
In a small bowl, combine all vinaigrette ingredients except olive oil. Whisk to blend and then slowly drizzle in olive oil until blended.
In a 3-4 quart mixing bowl, use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips of the carrots. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to blend. Drizzle salad dressing over salad and toss salad to coat completely.