It's been a bit crazy around here. I'm taking two classes this semester in addition to working nearly fulltime. I can discourse endlessly on the pictoralist and modernist movements in photography and the impact of photography on social welfare movements, but that doesn't get dinner on the table. And as the homework load has increase, more dinners have become "scrounge nights." Last night, however, I was determined to find something tasty and fresh and quick.
We were talking about North African food, and Joe thought the chorizo we had could substitute for merguez. Chorizo is generally made with pork, red pepper, and paprika; and merguez is made with beef or lamb and flavored with harissa (a chili paste) or paprika. So I dug up From the Land of Figs and Olives, my favoriate pan-North African cookbook, and found a suitable recipe. It was a smashing success, but you'll have to wait until my next post. I wanted something light and fresh and healthy (i.e. more vegetables!) as a side. This carrot and olive salad turned out to not only be tasty in itself but also to be a good pairing with our sausage dish.
Carrot and Olive Salad
adapted from From the Land of Figs and Olives
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
a few TBS of thinly sliced cabbage (original recipe calls for chopped lettuce)
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro (or a bit more)
1/2 C pitted black olives, halved
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Right before serving whisk olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper to make an emulsion. Toss with salad ingredients.
The original recipe calls for a small head of chopped lettuce. I didn't have lettuce, but I had some cabbage. I wanted to keep the carrot and olives as the dominant elements, so used only a small amount of cabbage and very thinly sliced it. The cabbaged worked well enough that I've scribbled it as a variate to the recipe in the page margins. I used kalamata olives, but North African varieties are becoming increasingly available in the States and are worth a try.