The warm spices of Morocco can take the most common of vegetables and elevate it to exotic new heights. As fitting as these spiced carrots might be for a special occasion like Easter dinner, they are still quick and simple enough for a weeknight side dish. The subtle sweetness of dried apricots compliments the spice blend exactly right–no honey or brown sugar needed.
This side dish recipe was inspired by a lovely recipe for glazed carrots that employed apricot preserves. Since my family prefers less sweetness, I took it in a different, spicier direction. Top it all off with crunchy toasted almonds, and you have a side dish poised to become the main attraction.
As for an entrée, I recommend pairing these spiced carrots with lamb or chicken. Cardamom-Scented Rice Pilaf with Lamb and Chickpeas would do nicely, as would Za’atar Chicken, which I am keen to try at home once I track down more za’atar. You could also opt to round out the meal with some couscous or Kalonji Seed Bread if you are feeling particularly adventurous.
But honestly, even putting these Moroccan carrots alongside a simple rotisserie chicken will make your mouth quite happy.
Moroccan Carrots with Apricots and Almonds
- 4 to 5 cups thickly sliced carrots
- 10 dried apricots (preferably unsulphured), chopped
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
- In a small bowl, pour 2/3 cup hot water over chopped dried apricots and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.
- Meawhile, in a saucepan, heat 6 cups of water to boil. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Whisk together spices, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar and add to apricot water mixture. Add garlic and olive oil to empty saucepan and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Return carrots to pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add spices, salt, and apricot mixture to the carrots and cook together for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm until serving time.
- Just before serving, stir in chopped parsley. Transfer cooked carrots to serving dish and sprinkle with toasted almond slivers.
Also linked to Savoring Saturdays.