Cumin carrot salad for 2 and leftover carrot top pesto

This quick and easy dish is inspired by traditional North African cuisine and is eaten in different fashions across the region.

This salad is usually served as a side dish, to accompany chickpeas or couscous—or both!

My roommate swears by this version which uses cumin and optionally, ras el hanout but you can add your preferred seasoning, as it is meant to be very fragrant and flavourful.

Whether you want to mince the garlic or leave it whole is entirely up to you, it is simply a matter of taste.

I personally prefer using it whole.

As for the lemon, you can use more if you want but don’t let it overpower the other flavours.

The great part of using carrots in your cooking is that you can reuse the carrot tops by making pesto with them! Scroll down to the end of this post for the recipe.


- 4 carrots

- 2-3 tsp lemon juice

- 2 garlic cloves

- 1 tsp cumin

- 1 tsp ras el hanout or Moroccan seasoning (optional)

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- Cilantro (to taste)

- Salt & pepper to taste


Peel the carrots and cut them into thin slices.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook the carrots for about 10-15 minutes, until they are just tender but still retain a bite. Drain the carrots.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the carrots, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, and slowly reduce the heat until the carrots have slightly browned.

Turn off the heat and add the garlic and cilantro. Leave aside to cool for the flavours to mature.

Serve it cold or slightly warm.

If you’re feeling a little wild you can also top the salad with some crumbled feta cheese and walnuts.




You can use the remaining carrot tops from the salad to make pesto, so I hope you didn't throw them away!


- carrot tops, blanched (immerged in boiling water for about 5 minutes)

- 1/2 bunch fresh basil

- 1/3 cup pine nuts (or whatever you have in your pantry)

- 2 garlic cloves

-1/4 cup of grated pecorino or parmesan (optional, but recommended)

- 1/4 cup of olive oil, approximately

- salt & pepper


Combine ingredients into a food processor, except for the cheese and the oil. Once the ingredients are finely chopped, you can add the cheese. You want to progressively add the oil until the mixture is creamy but remains a little grainy.

Your pesto is ready!

You can easily use it to bring your pasta to the next level, or even as a spread in a sandwich or as a pizza base. You can keep it in a small container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to three months!

I hope you've enjoyed this super easy recipe that brings a twist to traditional salads. The best part is that you can make two completely different meals out of just one main ingredient!



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