Sephardic Carrot Salad

During my recent trip to AndalucĂ­a I tasted an amazing carrot salad. I don't know if it was the weather, the surroundings, the people I spent time with or all of the above... Truth is the salad was devine. So once home, I started experimenting with different herbes and spices, trying to find that one blend that had stuck to my mind.
I also did a some reading and researching. I remembered tasting something similar on my trips to Southern Portugal.
I found out this type of salad is very popular in AndalucĂ­a (Spain) and the Algarve (Portugal) and that it has a sephardic origin.

It is simple, easy but oh so different to many things I have tasted before.

What you need

•steaming basket
•mortar and pistel


•1 1/2 kg of (preferably organic) carrots; washed and scrapped; ends removed
•2 big cloves of garlic; minced
•2 tsp of cumin
•1 tsp of dried oregano
•1 tsp of rock (Himalayan) salt
•3 tbs of virgin olive oil
•1 tbs of cider vinegar
•200 g of depitted black olives
•50 g of fresh mint
•250 ml of water

What you do

•put the carrots in a steaming basket and cook for aproximately 30 minutes (al dente)
•slice the carrots in circles of aprox. 5 mm thick while they are still warm and put in a dish
•add the black olives
•add the cider vinegar and the oil and toss
•put the cumin, oregano and salt into the mortar and crush
•cut the garlic cloves in slices and add to the mortar; crush some more
•now add the paste to the carrots and toss gently (making sure not to break the carrots)
•before you put the lot into the fridge to cool, add 250 ml of water
•just before serving, break the mint leaves and add them to the salad


•The salad will be at its best a couple of hours later or even better, the next day! Let it set in the fridge at least 4 hours.
•You can also add pine nuts to it. If you do, roast the pine nuts first