Unforgettable Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

by Dorothy Reinhold on September 26, 2010

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My mortgage broker shared a salad idea with me, and it is terrific! Yes, you heard that right…my mortgage broker* turns out to be a first-class foodie! Just my luck!

So in between figuring out the best rates from the right lender with the most suitable terms and getting notaries, signing on the right dotted lines and all the tedious minutiae involved, we chatted about the world’s most interesting topic — food.

Turns out he uses something I had never heard of – argan oil – to make a great carrot-raisin salad. Argan is a rare and thorny evergreen tree that grows only in the southwestern part of Morocco. It dates back several million years, and is one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small and very specific growing areas. It’s a gorgeous, delicate, nutty flavor, unlike other nut oils, and is used for cosmetics, seasoning, and salad dressing. You wouldn’t cook with it, because it is very pricy, but use it as a finishing oil, to drizzle over stew, soup, fish, grilled vegetables, couscous or as a dipping oil for bread.

It is also mixed into a chunky paste with crushed almonds and sometimes honey or sugar, called Amlou, and spread on toast like a Moroccan peanut butter.

Its also has purported health benefits. Rich in essential fatty acids (especially linoleic acid, a precursor of vitamin E), argan is said to have strong antioxidant and skin anti-aging properties, to stimulate intracellular oxygenation and neutralize free radicals.

I don’t know about all that (hey, you’re welcome to neutralize my free radicals anytime you like!), but it now sits next to my prized bottle of truffle oil in a rarified little club of high-class drizzlers.

I’m hooked!

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

First plump raisins in the microwave

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

A food processor makes quick work of shredding carrots

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

Gorgeous shreds!

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

Drain the now-plump raisins

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

Combine carrots and plump raisins in a big bowl

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

The dressing is simply argan oil, lime juice, salt and pepper

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing Recipe

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 8 ounces mini peeled carrots
  • 2 tablespoons argan oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Put raisins in a 2-cup measuring cup, add water to cover raisins by an inch, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high. When done, remove cup from microwave and set raisins aside to plump for 5 minutes.

While raisins are plumping, grate carrots in a food processor. Dump grated carrots into large salad bowl. Add oil, lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. When raisins are done plumping, drain them (they will be nicely wrinkled!) and add to the carrot mixture.

Toss with two spoons until well combined, and serve.

Serves 4.

Sources for argan oil: Your local foodie emporium, www.Zamourispices.com, or Amazon.com in the grocery/gourmet food area.

*Nicholas Ballard, nballard@calmtg.com. He blogs here (actually really interesting stuff about no-cost loans vs. paying no points, etc.).  I highly recommend him, if you are in need of a re-fi. Tell him I said, “Hi!

Carrot-Raisin Salad with Argan-Lime Dressing

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Youssef E. May 2, 2013 at 2:17 am

Argan Oil… my favorite, I used to have it for breakfast with fresh wheat bread and some hot green tea with mint almost everyday. But to let you know, there are two kinds of it, the one you can eat or cook with, the Argan Tree grains were lightly roasted before exacting oil from it. The other one used for cosmetics, is just cold pressed with modern machines, and not suitable for cooking.
The price of Argan Oil is climbing everyday as the world started realizing how good it is for the skin and the hair and also for people with high blood pressure, cholesterol,..etc


Lentil Breakdown October 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I make a lot of slaws, but never with Argan oil! Actually, a friend at work just gave me some to try on my hair (for styling). I had never heard of it before. Wonder if I could use it in my slaw. And I just noticed it at Surfas the other day for the first time.


Dorothy October 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Adair, I believe the versions for cooking and cosmetics are different, but it might only be a matter of price! Worth investigating. It is pricy, either way, but I’m here to tell you it is a fabulous flavor, and worth the splurge.


Nancy@acommunaltable September 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I love trying new and different ingredients and this is one I haven’t tried yet and after seeing this post I cannot wait to try it!! So glad you posted a source for the oil – in the OC it is not always easy to get ingredients (Dean and Deluca dumped us 🙁 . I love carrot raisin salad and this one looks amazing!!!


Dorothy September 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Nancy, you are going to love argan oil. It is pricy, for sure, but a splurge that is worth it, imho. Better yet, put it on your holiday list and get it for a gift! That’s the ticket. I have made this salad 3 times in 2 weeks. That’s how good it is!


Jean at The Delightful Repast September 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

Dorothy, it was a pleasure seeing you at camp on Saturday. Wish we’d had a chance to chat. Love this recipe. When I first learned of argan oil in a TV segment on Moroccan cooking, I was fascinated. Of course, I don’t really want to get hooked on one more pricey thing! Lime is the perfect accent to the sweet carrots and raisins.


Dorothy September 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

Jean, I HEAR YA on the getting hooked on pricy ingredients! How about asking for some as a present for birthday or upcoming holiday? It is REALLY special.


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