Many people visit Spain and wrongly assume that Spanish food is lacking in the vegetable department. I can understand their thinking– a pork driven culture with some of the best cheese around makes Spain an easy meat lover’s paradise, but what about the vegetarians out there? Well, it isn’t always easy when dining out but choices like these delicious marinated carrots are among the many vegetarian choices in Spain and are one of my favorite Spanish foods!
Marinated carrots are known in Spain as zanahorías aliñadas and are a delicious vegetarian Spanish food. The recipe is simple, but the carrots do need time to marinate and absorb all of the flavors of the spices and garlic. In Spain the restaurants and bars in Andalusia usually serve zanahorías aliñadas as a simple tapa, and the bright orange marinated carrots are often displayed among other salads and cold tapas at the bar.
This recipe for zanahorías aliñadas has been adapted from the wonderful Javi Recetas— an Andalusian cook with a great website. If you read Spanish, check him out!
Spanish Marinated Carrots Recipe
- 6-7 large carrots
- 2-4 garlic cloves (I suggest you try the recipe with less garlic the first time)
- 1 T dried oregano
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t smoked Spanish paprika (hot or sweet)
- ⅓ c of apple cider vinegar (or substitute another mild vinegar)
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Bring about a half gallon of water to a boil with a spoonful of salt.
- Wash and peel the carrots, then add to the boiling water
- Boil the carrots until they are just tender-- do not overcook! Then drain them and cover in cold water to let them cool.
- Mash the garlic and spices in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste.
- When the carrots have cooled, cut them into large round slices and put them into your serving bowl.
- Add the garlic paste to the carrots and stir and then add equal parts of vinegar and water until the carrots are covered with liquid.
- Cover the carrots and allow them to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge.
- Spoon the out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and serve with high quality olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Enjoy these marinated carrots– one of my favorite Spanish recipes!
Other vegetarian Spanish foods: