Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
I love a hearty salad in the winter. I need something to fill me up and keep me warm while making me feel healthy. This salad fits the bill - sweet roasted carrots dressed in cumin-spiced vinaigrette with unctious bites of avocado with a dollop of sour cream, the crunch of nutty seeds and don't forget the croutons! Those little cubes of toast soaked in the dressing are my favorite part! Give this salad a try one cold winter night when you want something warming yet healthful.
Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange-Lemon Dressing
Recipe adapted from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life by Jamie Oliver
1 lb medium carrots
2 tsp cumin seeds
1or 2 small dried chilies, crumbled or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
3 ripe avocados
4 x 1/2" thick slices of ciabatta or other rustic bread
2 handfuls of mixed winter salad greens (arugula, radicchio, Treviso, baby kale)
2 bunches of watercress
2/3 cup sour cream
4 T mixed seeds, toasted (e.g., fennel, cumin, sesame, poppy)
Preheat oven to 350.
Parboil your carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting tray.
While the carrots are cooking get a pestle and mortar and smash up the cumin seeds, chillies, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. The idea here is to build up the flavours. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. Stir together. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one!
Pour over the carrots in the tray, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut-side down. These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel your avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthways and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados.
Carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together, have a taste and correct the seasoning.
Toast or griddle your ciabatta slices. Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and cress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of yogurt, sprinkle over your toasted seeds and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.