Tahoe/Truckee recipe: Moroccan Winter Salad

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Sun
Courtesy Simone Grandmain "Of all the gin joints in this town you had to walk in here and make me a ... salad?" Trust me Bogie, she would have stayed with you if you'd served it.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE – I know. First of all – what do they really know about winter in Morocco? Secondly, what is a salad recipe doing in a recipe column, in a newspaper published smack in the middle of a pretty healthy (can you say 18-below?) Sierra winter?

Salads and winter traditionally go together like, I don’t know, an Obama and an NRA tie clip (or just clip). “Winter salad” is an oxymoron only to be surpassed by the boneless rib – no such thing.

This Moroccan salad is packed with scents and flavors perfectly suited for cold weather craving, and takes advantage of ingredients still flourishing in our Sub Zero – fridges, not temperatures. I am not kidding, those carrots have lasted since, like, Thanksgiving.

Plus, something about this salad is down-right Fez-tive (Get it? Moroccans wear fezzes). From the first bite I was transported to the colorful alleys of Casablanca (except in black and white) and couldn’t help but say, “Play it again Garee!” It’s her recipe.

Dressing ingredients:

1 tbls. cumin seeds

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tbls. fresh lemon juice

1 tbls. honey

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus a little more to taste

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


Toast cumin seeds in a dry skill+et over medium heat for a minute or two, until lightly browned.

Let cool and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl using the back of a large spoon. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Salad ingredients:

10 ounces carrots, shredded, or sliced super, super thin, using a food processor or mandolin.

One 15-ounce can cooked garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.

2/3 cups dried dates, cut into garbanzo bean-sized pieces.

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds


Toss all together EXCEPT ALMONDS with dressing until evenly coated. Refrigerate and remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Toss in almonds just before serving. Great with roasted chicken (about 1 1/2 cups) mixed in for a more substantial meal.

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