This is one of those salads that’s so easy to make yet so tasty. It’s based on a family recipe given to me by my friend Aleah who lives in a beautiful traditional house on the edge of a secluded beach on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast. It baffles me that so few people associate Morocco with the Med, I guess that they are more familiar with the established destinations of Marrakech and the chilled out hippy resorts along the Atlantic coast. I totally get that but it’s worth the effort to find the few entry points to the sea along the Rif mountains where you will be rewarded with low-key and authentic resorts with barely any tourists. For this recipe I use pomegranate molasses made by our dear Turkish friend’s Mum who lives on a smallholding in Antioch (Turkish Antakya), once a city of ancient Syria. We hope to travel there for Ali’s sister’s wedding in September so watch this space for inspiration from a traditional Turkish country kitchen. Like all things, homemade pomegranate molasses is far superior to anything you can buy and it’s pretty easy to make. I’ve got the recipe and intend to give it a go when my current supply has been used up. I may be some time, I was given a litre of the stuff; lucky me! Like pretty much everything I make, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days so you have a lunch box to grab and go on busy days. Add a little crumbled feta to change it up a bit.
3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut to roughly the same size as the carrots
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses
Extra-virgin olive oil
570g jar of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of a lemon
30g bunch of parsley, chopped
Pinch of sumac
How I make it
Heat an oven to 200C. Place the carrots and parsnips on a baking tray, add a good glug of olive oil, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds, give it all a stir and roast for around 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Leave aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, mix the cooled vegetables with the chickpeas and the remaining lemon juice.
Let the salad settle and infuse for a few minutes before adding the parsley and a sprinkling of sumac.
Just one thing, put your baking tray to soak immediately after removing the roasted vegetables as the molasses tends to caramelise and stick.