I am nuts about spices. Not too long ago, while I was cleaning my cabinets I counted more than fifty. I know is a little bit crazy… Lisbon is a great city to find spices, you just have to venture into Martin Moniz and you will find plenty of Indian, African and Chinese seasonings. And if that wasn’t enough, every time I travel somewhere I come back with my suitcase full of imported condiments: curry and turmeric from India, Basa Gede from Bali, chipotle from Mexico, everything else from London…
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There is always a new flavor to try out. So, I was thrilled this morning when I discovered that at the supermarket next to my house they had Za’atar, a Middle Eatern spice blend that goes with almost any kind of dish and it became the inspiration for this salad. That and also that my fridge was overloaded with carrots.
Za’atar is an aromatic blend of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt and it’s great sprinkled over salads, humus or pita chips.
MIDDLE EASTERN CARROT AND QUINOA SALAD with HUMMUS DRESSING
INGREDIENTS (serves 3)
– 1 cup of quinoa
– 1,5 cups of water
– A pinch of Himalayan salt
– 6 carrots
– 1/3 cup of chopped parsley
– 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
– 6 Medjool dates chopped
– 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 2 teaspoons of Za’atar
– 1/2 cup of hummus
– 2 tablespoons of filtered water
Soak the quinoa overnight. Rinse it well and cook in the water with a pinch of Himalayan salt.
Wash and scrub the carrots, and with the help of a potato peeler cut into ribbons and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
In a big bowl mix the quinoa with the carrots, the parsley, the sesame seeds, the chopped Medjool dates and the Za’tar.
To make the hummus dressing mix 1/2 a cup of plain hummus, with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and add a couple of tablespoons of water or until you achieve your preferred consistency.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.