Some things are meant to be sugar-coated, especially in the world of food.
And I'm not talking glazes or icings here. But rather, little white lies, omissions, exaggerations that are scattered throughout a dish or, at the least, one's description of it.
For instance. If you asked The.Boy how often I make him something with cabbage in it, he would make some sort of grimace at just the thought of such a brassica on his plate, and reply with "little to never".
Whereas I would coyly smile and say I put it in a noodle salad he ate two weeks ago, and he was none the wiser.
Although he did also inform me just a few days ago that leeks tasted too "cabbage-y" to him, and I don't even know what to do with that information since now he's apparently imagining cabbage where it is not, but doesn't even realize it's there when it is. Something is amiss with his taste buds, that's for sure.
That's really neither here nor there for the purposes of this post, however, as what we're really concerned with today is the use of prunes vs. dried plums.
Unbeknownst or unrealized to many out there...these are actually the same thing.
But whereas prunes sound like something my grandmother always tried to force me to eat, dried plums sound...fancy, decadent, and like something I want to shove into my mouth full speed ahead. That's quite a disparity.
As such, I'm a hundred percent sure that had I presented this dish as a carrot, chickpea, quinoa salad with prunes, I would have gotten very skeptical looks from The.Boy and a whole lot of resistance/begging to be allowed to eat a PB&J instead at dinnertime.
As it was, he dug right in without batting an eye. And barely came up for air until his bowl was clean. As did I.
All of the flavors in this salad come together to make it a hearty and delicious meal, with the cumin adding an earthy smokiness to the dressing, that is complimented well by tart lemon and sweet honey. And feel free to throw whatever other vegetables you want in here. I happened to have roasted potatoes and cauliflower in the fridge, so into the bowl they went. They were not quite as easy to hide from The.Boy as the aforementioned cabbage was...but thankfully he didn't seem to be bothered by their presence, especially after the first delicious bite - no sugar coating required.
One year ago...Black Bean and Feta Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa
Three years ago...Caramelized Onions, Broccoli and Ricotta Pasta
Four years ago...Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Garlic-Chili Dressing
Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Dried Plums, Quinoa, and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Serves 6, adapted from Roots
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- one (10 oz or 280g) package shredded carrots
- 8 oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until tender
- 2/3 cup (100g) dried plums, chopped into chickpea-size pieces
- 1/2 cup (30g) coarsely chopped fresh mint
- For the dressing, the cumin seeds must first be toasted and ground. Put a small heavy frying pan over high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using a spice grinder, grind to a fine powder.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, carrots, chickpeas, dried plums and mint. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.