Roasted Carrot & Watercress Salad w Moroccan Dressing

PREP TIME: 20mins


This salad is a little Moroccan in inspiration. I like to use a mix of rainbow carrots here and I think the smaller baby carrots looks better but any carrot will be delicious. I love the sweetness the fudgy dates add mixed with the roasted hazelnuts and spicy dressing with orange blossom water.  A real knock out salad .

The addition of a soft goats cheese would be wonderful too.

Serving Suggestion:

I served this along with a Chickpea & Aubergine Moussaka which was a good pairing.

Serves 4

The elements of the salad can be made a day ahead and combined just before you are ready to serve.

Can be served cold or at room temperature.


  • 60g blanched hazelnuts
  • 400g baby carrots, scrubbed (or peeled) tops left on if young enough
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (see kitchen note)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 shallot, very finely slice
  • small packet watercress salad
  • 6 soft medjool dates
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Moroccan Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • drizzle of honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • splash of orange blossom water (opt) (see note)
  • 80g soft goats cheese, roughly crumbled (opt)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. Scatter the hazelnuts into a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 8010 minutes or until it smells toasty. If using hazelnuts with skins, simply tip into a tea towel and rub away the skins. Chop nuts roughly and set aside. This can be done a few days ahead.
  3. Arrange the carrots in a heavy-based roasting tin, drizzle with honey and pomegranate molasses, scatter on the thyme leaves and season well. Toss the carrots by hand and roast for 20/30min, or until the carrots are cooked through but still retaining a little bite. A little crunchy caramelisation around the skinny ends is a good thing. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, make the dressing. Put all the the ingredients in a clean jar with a lid and shake together – taste and season.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shallots, watercress, dates and hazelnuts. Add the warm/cooled carrots and enough dressing to coat everything lightly. Add the crumbled cheese if using and serve.

Kitchen Notes:


Pomegranate Molasses (also known as pomegranate syrup) is made by simply reducing pomegranate juice into a thickened syrup. It is absolutely gorgeous, sweet and tangy and is ideal for adding to dressings, marinades and I love it on ice cream too.

Orange Blossom Water is a flower water (like rosewater) that’s made from the blossoms on orange trees. It’s a wonderfully floral, citrus flavor to add to baked goods, salads, and drinks.

The key to using any flower water is to not overdo it. Orange blossom water adds a lovely flavor to a dish, but it is deceptively strong. To keep your dish from being overly floral, use a small amount of orange blossom water and taste as you add it to make sure it’s not overpowering the dish.


Kitchen Story:

I made this salad for a small handful of friends one Friday. After a hell of a 2020 it felt so good to have people around my table again.

Recipe: New Feast: Greg & Lucy Malouf


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