Early spring produce has hit the markets. The farmers markets are open. And the rain keeps coming. But the rain won’t stop us from grilling most evenings. A simple dinner is spring’s delight, especially if you can catch a sunny day.
Once the temperatures rise, it’s time to give the slow cookers and Dutch ovens a break. Stow them away until fall and trade comfort foods for freshly-made sides like tabbouli, this week’s Moroccan Carrot Slaw or a grilled veggie salad. Dinner time becomes a less time-consuming affair with quick sides and protein on the grill. Our craving fresh veggies must be nature’s way of transitioning our bodies from one season to the next. Maybe consider whipping up a sauce for your meat to change things up.
Many carrot salad recipes call for cooked carrots. I’m not sure about your preference, but I really prefer the crunch of raw carrots. Making different slaws has become a favorite salad option of mine because slaws tend to hold up well and can be enjoyed for a few days in the fridge. They also make a great lunch or a leftover side for the coming days.
This lovely season brings the neighbors outside to plant flowers, walk their dogs and catch up after winter. One of the greatest parts of our home is that the kitchen window faces First Street, so I can watch people as I wash dishes after dinner. It’s free, quiet entertainment – my favorite kind.
If you’re wondering what to serve with this Moroccan Carrot Slaw, it would be lovely paired with lamb loin chops on the grill and a glass of crispy dry rose wine. There you have it – a simple, delicious dinner to invite those neighbors over to share.
Moroccan Carrot Slaw
1 ¼ pound carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or mint, or a combo
2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins
1/3 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (or slivered or sliced almonds)
Grate the carrots on a box grater or in the food processor. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and garlic and cook until the carrots are slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Toss together the carrots, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro and/or mint and currants in a large bowl. Top with almonds. Serve at room temperature as a side or spoon warm over toasted bread with a dollop of yogurt on top.