Though I am not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination we have definitely cut back on our carnivorous ways.  I find myself perusing cookbooks, favorite blogs or magazines for recipes that showcase vegetables.  This recipe for Roasted Carrots and Avocado Salad from Smitten Kitchen caught my eye and with Jamie home for the weekend, it was time to give it a whirl.

Wow.

Just wow.

Aside from being visually stunning.  This salad is absolutely delicious!  The different textures and flavors play off of each other.  The warm carrots with the cool yogurt and avocado, the crunch from the seeds against the creaminess of the avocado.  Sweetness from the citrus dressing compliments the cumin and coriander.  I could go on and on but I think you should just stop reading, skip to the recipe at the end of this post and MAKE this salad.  Really.

 

carrots

Great dishes invite imitation but often with a personal twist or tweak by each chef, this is no exception.  I found versions of this salad on NYT cooking, Jamie Oliver and the Spotted Pig.  Variations included using sour cream instead of yogurt, different spices, pumpkin seeds instead of sesame seeds, arugula for the sprouts.  Use you imagination.  I plan on adding orange segments, a pinch of smoke paprika next time and maybe some cilantro.  Can’t wait to make this dish again!

What’s Up Doc? (Roasted Carrots with Avocado Salad)

Ingredients

    For carrots:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and cooled or ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and cooled, ground coriander instead
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Red chile flakes, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds thin-to-medium carrots, scrubbed, not peeled; mixed colors if possible
  • 1 -2 oranges, cut into segments, reserve 1/2 of an orange uncut for the dressing (segments optional)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cilantro leaves, optional
  • To finish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (from about 1/4 orange)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 large or 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, cut in thin slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups radish sprouts, other sprouts or light salad greens of your choice
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat or 2% Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons roasted hulled pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds or a mix thereof

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cover 1 large baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with foil. Pour 1/4 cup water in bottom of pan
  • Make your spice paste by either pounding the cumin, coriander, thyme, salt and peppers in a mortar and pestle until roughly ground or using an electric spice grinder or small food processor to do the same.
  • If using ground spices, combine them in the bottom of a bowl large enough to fit carrots.
  • In bottom of bowl, combine prepared spices, salt and pepper, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil and whisk to blend. Add carrots and toss to coat evenly.
  • Spread carrots in prepared pan, drizzle with extra marinadeand cover tightly with foil. Roast for 25 minutes covered then remove the foil and roast for additional 35 minutes, until the carrots are lightly browned and tender but not falling apart.
  • Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, orange and lemon juices in a small bowl with salt and pepper.
  • When carrots are done, scatter with avocado, sprouts or greens of choice and orange segments then drizzle with citrus dressing
  • Dollop yogurt or sour cream over the top and sprinkle with seeds.
  • Enjoy!
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!