Tunisian Spiced Carrots
Harissa is to Tunisia what ketchup is to America, the traditional accompaniment to many foods. Harissa can be very hot, as it is a spicy mixture of chilies, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway seeds, and olive oil. Different foods absorb this condiment differently, so always adjust to your own preference.
- Add 1/2 inch of water to a 3-quart saucepan. Lightly salt the water.
- Add carrots and cook over moderate heat until tender when pierced with a fork (10–15 minutes).
- Drain the carrots and place in a serving bowl.
- Add the caraway seeds and harissa to the carrots, and gently stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Set aside or refrigerate for later use.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a small screwtop jar, and shake to thoroughly combine. Let the dressing rest for 30 minutes, if possible, to allow the garlic to infuse the oil.
- Pour dressing over carrots and toss well. Sprinkle with mint, if using, and serve.
- Never use large amounts of water when cooking vegetables or you will lose some of the nutrients if the vitamins are soluble in water. Vitamin A, found in carrots, is actually fat soluble, but the color of the cooked carrot will be diminished if cooked in too much water.
- If you do not like biting into bits of raw garlic, just crack the garlic open with the side of a broad knife and add it to the olive oil mixture. After half an hour or so, the flavor will be imparted to the oil, and you can discard the whole garlic.