Moroccan Carrot Salad is an exotic mix of zesty citrus, sweet carrots, fresh herbs, and feta, dressed with a warmly spiced, piquant honey-lemon vinaigrette. Makes a quick, refreshing side that is ready to serve in just 15 minutes!
What's the Story Behind this Recipe?
This traditional raw carrot salad recipe was adapted from one Mr B and I learned when we took a French-Moroccan cooking class some years ago. This bright, fresh salad is seasoned with classic Moroccan spices to create a delicious depth and complexity of flavors.
Moroccan Carrot Salad is an excellent salad or side dish for any warmly spiced main dish, and it pairs exceptionally well with our Apricot Chicken Tagine with Ginger & Mint.
For Lemon Lovers Only
Think about biting into a fresh lemon slice.
If the mere idea of biting into a lemon slice squeezes your entire face into a frowny furrow, this may not be the carrot salad for you. (If that's the case, try our Kale & Carrot Salad or Armenian Eggplant & Carrot Salad instead.)
Don't get me wrong: there are plenty of other flavors besides lemon in this salad, including honey, which balances and softens the punch of the lemon; but if you don't enjoy the sharp, astringent side of the lemon wheel, this salad may not be your favorite.
However, if the idea of biting into a lemon slice immediately makes you pucker up and smile, you should definitely give this Moroccan Carrot Salad a try!
What Goes into this Recipe
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Preserved Lemons: Preserved lemons are among the primary ingredients, and the reason for that intense lemon flavor in this Moroccan raw carrot salad. An indispensable ingredient in Moroccan cooking, the unique pickled taste and texture of preserved lemons cannot be duplicated with fresh products.
Is there any good substitute for preserved lemons?
Preserved lemons are not something everyone keeps in the pantry, and sometimes you just don't have the means to get them. (And sometimes you just want to make a dang salad recipe off the internet without having to go out and find some fancy ingredient you will only use once! I get it.)
For this recipe, you can buy preserved lemons in specialty stores, or make the real thing at home (takes about a month) - or make our Quick Preserved Lemon Substitute. Because, guess what?! I don't always have preserved lemons either. (Like, for example, during a pandemic.)
While not optimal, our quick-preserved lemon - essentially a quick-brined lemon rind - is a passable substitute that works well in this carrot salad recipe.
★ Carrots: If you want to serve this salad for a party, take the time to julienne the carrots: it makes for a prettier presentation. For everyday serving, shredding them works just fine. (The salad shown in this post was made with shredded carrots.)
★ Ground Caraway Seeds: If you're anything like me, you may not keep ground caraway seeds around all the time. Whole caraway seeds can easily be ground using a small mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or clean coffee grinder.
How to Make Moroccan Carrot Salad
Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, caraway, and harissa. Cook until fragrant; about one minute.
Remove from heat and add the cinnamon, paprika, honey, lemon juice, and preserved lemon. Stir to combine.
Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine carrots, herbs, and feta. Toss until evenly mixed.
Pour prepared sauce over carrot mixture. Mix until well combined.
Chill before serving. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, feta, and lemon slices.
FAQs & Expert Tips
If you plan to serve this for a party, take the time to julienne the carrots: it makes for a prettier presentation. For everyday serving, shredded carrots work just fine.
To julienne means to cut vegetables into thin, even strips. (When referring julienned carrots, they are often called matchstick carrots.) Julienned carrots create a clean, more elegant presentation.
Shredded carrots are long, thin strips of vegetables created by running them across a coarse grater. Shredded carrots are slightly thinner and juicier than julienned carrots.
This salad can be made up to one day ahead of time. Stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, this salad will last 3-4 days.
More Carrot Recipes
Moroccan Carrot Salad
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 medium garlic cloves minced
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- ½ tablespoon harissa
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1½ tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 preserved lemon rind only, finely minced
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 pound carrots peeled and julienned or shredded
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 4 ounces feta crumbled
- Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, caraway, and harissa. Cook until fragrant; about one minute. Remove from heat and add the cinnamon, paprika, honey, lemon juice, and preserved lemon. Stir to combine.Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.¼ cup olive oil, 3 medium garlic cloves, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds, ½ tablespoon harissa, ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika, 1½ tablespoon honey, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 preserved lemon, sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- In a large bowl, combine carrots, herbs, and feta. Toss until evenly mixed.1 pound carrots, ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint, 4 ounces feta
- Pour prepared sauce over carrot mixture.Mix until well combined.
- Chill before serving. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, feta, and lemon slices.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Originally published September 6, 2016. Post has been updated with new content, images, and recipe directions to improve reader experience.