Wednesday 1 March 2017

Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum

 Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian.

Maybe it is the success I had recently with a chicken and avocado salad I made for a colleague’s leaving do at work, but I am getting bolder with my veg and spices. This recipe comes courtesy of one of my favourite cooks, Yotam Ottolenghi. My only addition would be a Scotch bonnet chilli. Just to give the salad a bit of a kick.

Moroccan carrot salad with orange and pistachio

The orange blossom is a lovely addition to the dressing, but don’t buy a whole bottle just for the sake of a quarter-teaspoon. This salad is still lovely without it. Serves four.
650g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 oranges, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
½ small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
50g pistachios, toasted and chopped
20g coriander leaves
15g mint leaves

For the dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp orange blossom water (optional)
2 tsp honey
1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Add the salad ingredients, toss to coat and serve.

The music to go with this recipe must have that fresh feel, too. And because it is winter, it must also have that heart-warming quality that this season’s food has. First up are the Four Tops. Just because this song exudes the joy that fills up my kitchen when I’m cooking. Enjoy.

His voice is velvety, smooth and utterly ethereal. Maxwell’s cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work is as good as, if not better than, the original. It goes hand in hand with our crisp, spicy salad.

We finish with a fine daughter of Africa. Malian singer song-writer Oumou Sangare’s soulful voice is one that suits our aromatic salad very well.

Next Post: “Thoughts in Progress”, to be published on Saturday 4th March at 6pm (GMT)


  1. What a lovely salad. I'm a rubbish cook, but even I can have a go at this.

  2. Sure looks like one that will fill indeed. Can't say I get sure joy out of cooking but the four tops aren't bad.

  3. I needed that salad recipe, I've had too many eggs this week already.

    Your choices in music are an education to me. I always wonder how you came to such knowledge and diversity. It expands my small repertoire. Thank you. I wish I knew what you eat for breakfast.

  4. As I get older I seem to prefer spicy food. I seem to tolerate it better than I did when younger.

  5. I love the Four Tops! And the chicken and avocado salad sounds delicious! I don't like anything too hot and spicy, but I do like some spice. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you are having a great week. :)

  6. Nos dejas una buena combinación de buena música así de una buena ensalada.
    Un abrazo.

  7. Hi ACIL - sounds delicious ... I'm looking forward to more ideas as your creative skills kick in on the culinary front. I love salads and eat them all the time - usually plain and simple, as I'm at home ... but love cumin, oranges and carrots - so may give this a go ... thanks and cheers Hilary

  8. The Four Tops and Kate Bush, what else could I ask for. I adored them both. I don't eat enough salad so I might well have a go at your recipe.

  9. Yes - that salad sounds delicious!

  10. Food, music for life. Yes, please!

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  12. sounds delicious and I like your idea of pairing up the music with the food

  13. I love your musical pairings and the recipe is something I will try, too. Thanks and best to you!

  14. that salad looks wonderful!



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