Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alba's Carrot Salad

My husband's cousin, Alba Carbonaro, is an accomplished cook and personal chef. Her Carrot Salad of Maghreb is from the region of Northwest Africa, including Tunisia, where Alba was born and raised. But the fragrance and flavors are also undeniably familiar to the Mexican palate: garlic, pepper flakes, cumin, and cilantro. When I tasted it for the first time it felt like a tangy recombination of the spices I grew up with. This dish (slightly adapted here) will have everyone asking to "pass the carrots" at your Thanksgiving table.
Alba's Carrot Salad

Recipe Type: Side Dish

Author: Adapted from Alba Carbonaro's Recipe

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 8


  • 1 lb carrots (you don't have to peel them)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp ground cumin or 3 tsp whole cumin which you grind in a mortar (or molcajete) for a fresh taste

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

  • 1/4 cup water (use the water from the boiled carrots)

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves


  1. Cook the whole carrots(without the green part) in salted boiling water until they are tender, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the carrots. Drain well and cut them into ¼ inch rounds

  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes and heat until aromatic, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the warm carrots, 1/4 cup water and vinegar. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic pieces and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.


If you refrigerate it, be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.


  1. Great! It sounds easy to make. We'll try!

    Thanks so much

  2. Gilda Valdez CarbonaroNovember 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Hope you try it, Parvin. It is a cinch!

  3. I made this recipe today, it came up really good. Thanks!

  4. Gilda Valdez CarbonaroNovember 24, 2011 at 7:55 AM


    Did you celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain?
    Anyway, glad you tried these...I love them too!


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