I always love the diversity of the restaurants in Paris, much of it coming from former French colonies. The islands of the Indian Ocean: Madagascar, Reunion, Rodrigues along with Indochina-Vietnam and the cuisines of the continent of Africa: North-Central and Western Africa where you can still get around speaking French.
It was the cuisine of North Africa that always brought me to Paris’ 18th arrondissment. It wasn’t Montmartre or the Pigalle that kept bringing me back but the cacophany of spices from Tunisia, Morroco and Algeria. Most of these restaurants were run by transplants who chose French citizenship over that of their native countries after the North African independence movements in the 70s. It just so happens that many of them Sephardic Jews and many of those restaurants are kosher so I often use some of these recipes for Passover.
I always loved the assorted courses of seasoned vegetables that come before or alongside dinner. The spiced glazed carrots where always a favorite and I have been trying several versions of them for years. This is a great side dish you can use for Passover or any other holiday alongside lamb or brisket.
Serves: 6 to 8 servings.
2 pounds carrots, peeled
1 teaspoon moroccan fleur de sel
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground caraway
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of sugar in the raw
1/2 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel (I use the Moroccan Fleur de Sel from Kalustyan’s, www.kalustsyans.com)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon harissa, siracha or chipotle in adobo
Sprigs of fresh Cilantro for garnish
Fresh lemon juice, as needed, optional.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add carrots and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, set aside a bowl of ice water. Transfer cooked carrots to the ice bath and chill to maintain the bright color of the carrots.
2. Drain carrots, and cut into disks about 1/4-inch thick then slice into strips. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, caraway, and coriander. Add a pinch of harissa or hot sauce, and mix gently. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Try a mixed case of Kosher wine from Kesser Wines. The Niagara Blanc has a bit of sweetness from the native-American blend of grapes which is perfect for foods with big spicy flavors. If you are serving this side dish with red meat, the Kesser Cabernet Sauvignon is a pleasing full-bodied red with a nose of blackcurrant, cedar and violets. For more on Kosher wines, check out Teri Goldberg’s piece; Picking the Perfect Passover Wine at http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4580433/ns/today-today_entertainment/