Friday, November 25, 2011

50 Women Game Changers in Food - #25 Paula Wolfert - Moroccan Carrot Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Paula Wolfert is an acknowledged expert in the cooking of the Mediterranean, but when this Brooklyn girl first married she, quite literally, couldn't boil water. Frustrated with her cooking failures, she decided to take cooking classes at Dione Lucas's Cordon Bleu cooking school. It was love at first bite- forgive that please - and she left college to work in the school kitchen to offset the cost of her tuition. Her first husband's job took them to Morocco where she first became fascinated with the rich flavors and exotic ingredients of the area. It was here that she began began her life-long quest to find the best dishes the region had to offer. Her search took her from lowly Berber villages to Greece, Spain, Italy and the south of France. Her second husband, the novelist William Bayer, urged her to write her first cookbook. She did that, and went on to write eight more books that chronicle her adventures and the food she found in a precise, yet exuberant manner. Her books can all be found here. She has detractors who actually criticize her recipes for their authenticity and use hard-to-find ingredients. She refuses to bow or bend and insists on authentic taste in the dishes she prepares. Wolfert has a simple test that dishes to be used in her books must pass. She must want to eat them again. She views food as memory and wants dishes that have lingering flavors that will appeal to all the senses. Her future plans include a book on garlic and olive oil and perhaps one on the fruits and vegetables of the Mediterranean. You understand, of course, that would require her to explore still more villages in search of another great cook or undiscovered secret. I suspect she already has her bag packed. I have chosen a very simple recipe to showcase her work. It is a carrot salad that is perfectly spiced and it is a nice counterpoint to the heavy food we've been feasting on this holiday. Here's the recipe.

Moroccan Carrot Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Paula Wolfert

1 pound carrots
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika or Aleppo pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Olive oil and chopped parsley for garnish

1) Wash and peel carrots. Boil whole in water with garlic clove until barley tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Discard garlic. Let carrots cool, then slice or dice and place in a large bowl.
2) Combine spices, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Pour over carrots. Toss to combine.
3) Chill. Toss again before serving and top with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley. Yield:
4 to 6 servings.

The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Paula Wolfert today. I hope you'll visit all of them. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne - Eats Well With Others, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed Susan - The Spice Garden, Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette - Healthy Living, April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud, Mary - One Perfect Bite, Kathleen - Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen, Sue - The View from Great Island, Barbara - Movable Feasts Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds, Amy - Beloved Green, Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again, Martha - Lines from Linderhof, Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Most Lovely Things, Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook

Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, November 28th.


Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

Looks great nice one for the holiday~

Ellen Whyte said...

How funny to hear of an American to be called an expert in Med cooking! It's so far away. This looks yummy though. And quite festive too. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ginny Hartzler said...

I love carrots and these are beautiful, and the recipe looks good, too! And so easy! I hope you had a wonderful day, Mary!!!

Alessandra said...

I knew this salad (Moroccan food became quite popular here in NZ a few years ago), but I didn't know Paula Wolfert, another interesting story, thank you Mary!

Have a good weekend


Rita said...

Perfect! I am preparing a Chicken tagine tomorrow and was looking for a side; this is what I need. Merci.

Priya Suresh said...

Wow wat a flavourful salad,simply inviting.

Barbara said...

What a lovely, light salad, Mary. The color is bright and fresh and the flavors of cumin and cinnamon must shine through.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lenia said...

What an inviting and healthy salad!Kisses,dear!

Vicki Bensinger said...

What a nice healthy recipe and with simple yet delicious flavors to compliment the carrots. The color of your carrots are so vibrant. If you've viewed all of Paula's books which is your favorite?

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is a refreshing accompaniment to all of our meals Mary, expecially if we use a little spice.

Unknown said...

I love hearing about all these women who have made such a big impact on the culinary world! And although I'm not a huge fan of cooked carrots, this salad sounds really really good!!!

Heather @ said...

I was so impressed by everything I learned about Paula Wolfert. And this stunning carrot salad is just the thing to brighten a chilly day like today. Lovely!

Jeanette said...

Lovely write up on Paula Wolfert - I do like her authenticity, staying true to the flavors of the countries she is writing about. And I like her rule that she must want to eat the dishes that are in her cookbooks again to be included. I like the simplicity of the recipe you chose.

Sofia.Lopez said...

I loved your carrot salad. A beautifull and delicious way to eat them. I have to try!
Have a nice weekend Mary.
Big kiss for you ;)

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits said...


What a informing article about Paula. I'm sure this salad tastes wonderful. It it exotic and flavorful with all those tasty spices

Tanna said...

Mary, this sounds fresh and delicious! Thank you very much. blessings ~ Tanna

Joanne said...

I love Paula's passion for food...find it quite admirable! And I love this carrot salad...the cinnamon makes it a must-have for me.

Susan Lindquist said...

What a refreshing way to use carrots! In the dead of winter, this will be such a pick-me-up!

Claudia said...

I do indeed love how these are spiced and will be doing it. I so enjoy all these posts and discoveries - more fun now that I am less familiar with these chefs - the top 20 were all known to me. Hope your Thanksgiving was laden with grace.

Taryn said...

This is a lovely and refreshing recipe after all the heavy food of the past few days.

Nicola @ unhip squirrel said...

Awesome. I had a friend whose mom made this great carrot chutney that looks a lot like this. I'm inspired!

That Girl said...

I love all these chefs with supportive husbands!

Becki's Whole Life said...

This looks like a different way to serve carrots. I love the Moroccan spices in here...some of my favorites.

Jenna said...

Why are berber villages considered 'lowly', and Greek and Italian ones not? Besides this glaring issue, this looks great and I am happily boiling carrots now for this recipe!

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