So, I’ve been at this blog thing for a few years now, and I still think that recipes are complicated. Writing my first post ever, I remember grappling with the concept of having to put words to the process of turning dough into scones. Similarly, I struggled to explain taste-testing when it comes to adding butter to my Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes. I agonized over my Herbed Yukon Gold Oven Fries because I didn’t know if you’d be able to tell from my wording that these cook (read: get brown and crisp) way longer than you think they should. I worried when I didn’t tell you for sure how many ounces of cheese to use on each of my Caramelized Fig, Manchego, and Prosciutto Sandwiches (let’s be real, though–there can never be enough Manchego, and I would never judge if you used a little bit more than the next person…in fact I’d probably wonder if we were soulmates).
At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that I love to create. Food is a prime way of doing so, and sharing the things I’ve made in various ways is incredibly gratifying. As a person who enjoys cooking, I have skimmed many recipes. It’s astounding to find that not all are reflective of their results. For example, there have been many, many occasions in which the words “puff” and “pastry” paired together were enough to prompt an insta-page turn on my part, admittedly from sheer intimidation. And likewise, some of the most concise prescriptions can, at times, be the most labor-intensive.
Now, this is not to say that a more laborious recipe is necessarily difficult. Writing the instructions for this carrot salad, for example, I felt that I had somehow forgotten a step. The truth is, the work required is stated quite simply following each item on the list of ingredients. I’ve written them down here with the hope that you, like me, might fill in the blank spaces this recipe affords with colorful memories. Grating a pound of carrots, I learned, while testing out my concept for the salad, is an act perfectly complemented by the atmospheric soul of Billie Holiday, the cheer of a Little Mermaid apron, the purple stain of a freshly disemboweled pomegranate, and the warm aroma of Moroccan spices. Where simplicity abounds in words, there are aesthetics–right to the moment when the vibrant, fresh mixture acquaints itself with you, and you with it. Perfection.
Moroccan-Inspired Grated Carrot Salad
Makes 4-6 Servings
Morrocan-Spiced Yogurt Dressing:
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp lime zest
juice of one lime
sea salt, to taste
1 lb (16 oz) carrots, peeled and grated
1 green apple, peeled and grated
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp hemp hearts
sea salt, to taste
pomegranate arils, scallions, toasted cumin seeds, mixed greens
Dressing: Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.
Salad: In a large bowl, combine carrots, apple, red onion, bell pepper, pomegranate arils, scallions, and hemp hearts. Coat in yogurt dressing, tossing to combine. Season the mixture to taste with additional sea salt, if necessary.
To Serve: Salad can be eaten as is, but it can also be topped with additional pomegranate arils, scallions, and/or toasted cumin seeds, or served atop a bed of mixed greens.