Moroccan Rainbow Carrots with a Sweet-Tart Sauce

butterfly Serves: 2, can be doubled or tripled

Written By Eydie Desser


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These beautiful rainbow carrots from the Farmers’ Market were calling my name, begging to be made into a Moroccan spiced side dish.  But how was I going to cook them and then “dress” them with a traditional Moroccan vinaigrette without oil?  “Necessity is the mother of Invention.”  Instead of boiling the carrots in just water, I came up with the idea to season the water with Moroccan spices to flavor the carrots from the inside out.  Voila! The carrots loved bathing in this flavorful broth. They are delicious on their own, or perfect to use with a hummus dip (but cook them al dente).  I wanted to serve these beauties as a side dish, so I made a quick and easy sweet tart sauce for the finishing touch.


For the Carrots:
  • 1 bunch of rainbow carrots (about 6 ounces), greens removed, and cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon. ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 guajillo chili (about 3-inches long), lightly toasted in a dry pan, and seeded 
  • Question: Would you seed the chili first then lightly toast? Does it matter?
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (1-½ teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons  pistachios, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • Micro-green leaves, or baby swiss chard leaves or other tiny lettuces
For the Sweet-Tart Sauce:

(triple if using for a crudités dipping sauce)

  • 3 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon. fresh orange juice (just a few drops to taste)


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, add water until ¾ full,  Add in the cumin, cinnamon, sweet paprika, guajillo pepper and garlic. Bring the seasoned water to a boil and stir. Taste the water to see if it needs more of the spices.  It should taste flavorful.  
  2. Add the cleaned carrots to the boiling water and lower the temperature to medium high. Cook the carrots until soft when pierced with a knife.  Depending on the thickness of the carrots, it will take 5 or more minutes.  The carrots should be soft enough to cut with a fork but not too soft that they will fall apart. They should have a bit of resistance when pierced with a knife.
  3. Using tongs, carefully remove the carrots to a plate.
Make the Sweet-Tart sauce:
  1. In a small bowl add the maple syrup, sherry vinegar and fresh orange juice. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour the sauce over the carrots and garnish with microgreens and pistachios.
To Serve:

Arrange the sauced carrots on a platter and allow guests to serve themselves.

butterfly Cook's Notes:

To serve as part of a crudités platter, cook the carrots just until they are al dente, and are still somewhat crunchy.  Remove from the water bath, and let cool.  Triple the  Sweet-Tart sauce ingredients and use as a dipping sauce.

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