International flavors delight my tastebuds. My favorite meal on the planet is Pad Thai. I’m notorious for ordering Indian food for delivery (give me all the tikka masala and biryani, thank you). Pho calms my nerves on a cold winter day.
I’ve been trying to expand my international horizons from right in my kitchen. I’ve made tons of different meals with Chinese, Italian, and Mexican influence. I’m not from any of these countries, so I won’t claim to be an expert. Sometimes the meals are a big hit, some times they are a strike out.
Middle Eastern and Moroccan food are two cuisines I haven’t really delved into very deep. I have za’atar seasoning that I use all the time, but other than that I haven’t gotten into much else.
I had a half container of harissa dressing left in my fridge and needed to use it up. I thought the spicy red pepper paste would taste good in a cool ranch dressing and an idea struck me: why not make a full-blown Moroccan-style salad?
Brilliant. I made my own ranch dressing (a first for me) to mix with the harissa and it was wonderful. I can’t believe I’ve never made my own ranch before! Poor Rob had to go grocery shopping for me while I was sick this weekend and he accidentally bought dill seed instead of dill weed, but the dressing still tasted amazingly ranch-y.
For protein, I went with ground lamb. There was a pretty great sale on it at the store ($5.99 a pound) and I’ve been trying to branch out of the protein while avoiding red met. Lamb mixed with cumin, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper turned into a pretty good Moroccan mixture.
For salad toppings, a simple mix of pistachios and feta cheese. I meant to cut up some carrots and put them in the salad but completely blanked. The salad was probably better off without it, anyway.
Take a walk on the wild side with me and try this salad. Who knows–maybe you’ll be transported to another piece of the globe, too.
Moroccan Salad with Harissa Ranch Dressing
Spiced ground lamb with feta and pistachios on top of salad greens with a spicy harissa ranch dressing.
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- salt & pepper
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 1 cup peeled pistachios
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 3-4 cups spring mix salad greens
For the harissa ranch dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. dried chives
- 1 tsp. dill weed or seed
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- salt & pepper
- 3 TBS. harissa
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. In a large bowl, mix ground lamb with cumin, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, allspice, salt and pepper. Cook lamb in skillet until browned, cutting up with a wooden spoon into small pieces, about 4-5 minutes. Drain off fat and set aside while making dressing.
- Make the dressing: whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Make the salad: top greens with lamb, pistachios, and feta. Serve with harissa ranch on the side.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. In a large bowl, mix ground lamb with cumin, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, allspice, salt and pepper. Cook lamb in skillet until browned, cutting up with a wooden spoon into small pieces, about 4-5 minutes. Drain off fat and set aside while making dressing.
Make the dressing: whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make the salad: top greens with lamb, pistachios, and feta. Serve with harissa ranch on the side.