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Recipe Redux Spiced Moroccan Salad with Argan Oil – by guest expert Natalie Edwards APD

It’s Recipe Redux time again and as our Sub of the Month, new grad dietitian Natalie Edwards, just embarked on new job in a cooking program I decided to hand the apron to her.  The theme this month is: “Orange You Glad It’s Fall?” Markets are plentiful with the orange colors of autumn including pumpkin, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and even golden beets. Not only are these produce bursting with fall flavors but they are also chocked full of carotenoid antioxidants.  So you can imagine that Natalie and I had a fair bit of brainstorming to do to fit into our Spring.  But then we struck gold, literally.

About our expert:

Natalie Edwards loves to spread the word about nutritious food. This year she created her own blog Nat’s Nutritious and Delicious and facebook page; she hopes through her site she can share her passion for cooking healthy nutritious food and teach others that eating like a dietitian isn’t only healthy but tasty too!

Have you heard of argan oil? It’s a rare exotic treat direct from South West Morocco. This oil has been a well kept secret known only to Berber women (native Moroccan’s) for centuries. However, in recent times you may have seen argan oil, also know as ‘Moroccan oil’ as the so called miracle ingredient in shampoo or beauty products.  But did you know it’s also a culinary oil? With more and more evidence emerging as to the health benefits of argan oil we are sure to see this ‘special find’ in more households and on more restaurant menus, just like Karen Inge and Pierre Khodja are doing at the Flinder’s Hotel.

You see argan oil is to Morocco what olive oil is to Italy, well, not exactly the same nutrient composition but there are some clear benefits of argan oil that should not go unnoticed.  The antioxidant capacity of virgin argan oil is higher than that of other vegetable oils. Recent studies suggest virgin argan oil is a functional food that may play a role in disease prevention. Some studies have found it to have a hypolipidemic, hypocholesterolemic, and anti hypertensive effect and a possible role in cancer prevention.

Less for cooking more for finishing, argan oil is golden brown in color with a delicious nutty flavor. It enhances the taste and aroma of cooked dishes and is best for drizzling over your finished product.  Carrots are the core Redux ingredient in this dish, rich in carotenoids, and they go hand in hand with argan oil. Why? You see Argan oil improves the absorption of carotenoids which in turn enhances their antioxidant capacity to an even greater extent. With summer fast approaching down under, this Recipe Redux is a great edition to your  fresh and easy collection.


 Ingredients (serves 4)

40g whole almonds

6 fresh dates

1 cup couscous

1tsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 tbs coriander

1 tbs parsley

1 tbs mint

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbs argan oil

2 tbs lemon

1 tsp honey

1 cup chickpeas

2 carrots

150g baby spinach leaves

1 tsp sesame seeds


1:  Weigh out 40g almonds, pulse nuts in food processor until coarsely chopped, set aside.

2: Chop dates into small pieces and set aside.

3: Boil 1 cup of water on stove, remove from stove and add 1 cup couscous, 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt, cover with lid and set aside for 10 minutes to absorb.

4: Finely chop coriander, parsley and mint

5: Run a folk through the couscous to break it apart and add coriander, parsley and mint.

6: Create dressing- place argan oil, lemon, paprika, cumin and honey in bowl and mix with spoon. Add dressing to couscous.

7: Place spinach leaves on large plate or in large bowl, drain can of chickpeas and weigh out 1 cup, place in bowl with spinach.

8: Grate carrots into strips and place in salad bowl

9: Add couscous, nuts and dates then sprinkle salad with sesame seeds and drizzle some extra argan oil on top. Enjoy!

A huge thank you to Sally from Argan Life as she was kind enough to supply me with some free culinary argan oil.  She does not usually stock culinary argan oil however; she does sell Argan oil beauty products, check out her site.  And finally don’t forget to checkout the other fab redux recipes too:

Editor’s comment:

Thanks Nat.  Isn’t it great when you discover a new ingredient? I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying Pierre’s amazing French Moroccan cooking and loved trying argan oil that way.  How about you lovely readers and Redux friends? Have you?

  • Hannah Gilbert

    Love recipe redux time on Scoop. Fancy a company producing beauty and culinary products! What a mix. I might just have to hunt down this new wonder oil. Salad sounds superb..what a beautiful combo of flavours

  • Thanks Hannah, the oil is beautiful a very strong flavor which I love, in morocco they dip their bread in argan oil, another great way to enjoy this product 🙂

  • It’s 6:30am & smack dab in the middle of autumn where I am now, but I’d love to have this dish right now! I haven’t seen argan oil here in the states, but will see if I can find some.

  • Yes, it is definitley worth tracking down Kat!

  • Wow I had no idea you could cook with this stuff! Amazing. And that salad looks perfect after the heatwave we’ve been experiencing in Qld!

  • I know what you mean Ash, I cooked this salad on Saturday and we had a bit of a heatwave here in NSW. It was the perfect dish for a hot day, I served it with some bbq lamb and a huge glass of icy cold mineral water 🙂

  • This looks fantastic! Love all the herbs/spices you used, it sounds so flavorful…can’t wait to try!

  • Wow, you always have the scoop…literally! I’m so interested in finding some argan oil! And I have all the ingredients for this yummy looking salad!

  • Thank you for the recipe! Happy to see that Argan oil is getting known in Australia as a culinary oil too. The difference between cosmetic and culinaty argan oil is that one comes from the roasted nut and the other from the unroastet nut.
    In Morocco our favorite way to eat Argan oil is in a dip called ‘Amlou’. You can find the recipe here 🙂

  • Sheena

    Thanks for a recipe I know I’m going to love, every ingredient in there is a favourite of mine. Have not seen Argan oil before but I am sure there is a Moroccan stall in the Adelaide Markets so I will go past tomorrow

  • Thank you very much for your lovely comments guys. Jamila, that Almond butter looks unreal! I have a little argan oil left and some almonds aswell, I will make some tomorrow 🙂

  • What a great idea- can’t wait to try cooking with it. I’m looking for some inspiration for tonights dinner and this salad will be perfect for Meatless Monday. Thanks Nat.

  • Wow. Another beautiful recipe filled with color, flavor, and great nutrition. I’ve never heard of argan oil but will definitely look into it!

  • thanks for sharing a new ingredient-argan oil. I have to look more into it. the salad looks very amazing.

  • This looks amazing! I am now in search of argan oil. Thank you!

  • Thanks Ladies, if you do try argan oil and/or if you do try the recipe please do let me know, I would love to know what you think!

  • Katy @ Healthy Aperture

    Argan Oil! I wonder how hard this is to get here in the States? Increasing carrot’s capacity as a disease prevention mechanism, now that’s some food modification that sound like music to my ears!


  • Beautiful presentation! I love your use of fresh, whole ingredients. So healthy 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Looks delicious!

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  • Rhonda J.

    Love the Moroccan style salad recipe. On reading notes before it though I am a little confused as I thought Nat & Emma were from Australia?
    What’s this about being “Fall” in October? Don’t understand.
    Perhaps its being “global” in your healthy food approach?
    Here in Aust its Spring !
    But still love all the orange fruit & veggies!

  • Thnks for the additional comments Rhonda, Nina, Ashley and Katy. Yes Rhonda we are based in Australia but the Recipe Redux theme is set by our colleagues in the US – sorry to confuse you.

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