Rubbed with olive oil and herbs, roasted and then dressed, sprouts, sunflower seeds, avocado, . . . yeah, I’m talking about carrots strutting their stuff. This is a carrot ready to party.
I read that carrots are in this fall, the vegetable of the moment, the darling of innovative chefs. Truth is they’re one of our most loyal vegetables, they stick around all winter long, always have, and they’re at their prime right now. Freshly harvested ones at Farmer’s Markets are the best, peak flavors because they’ve likely been plucked from the ground within a day or two. You might get lucky and score some purple, red, and yellow ones as well as the orange.
Check their greens. They should be fresh and bright, not wilted. Supermarkets remove the greens in part so that consumers don’t recognize a carrot that’s been in storage for a while. Sometimes that can’t be avoided, and frankly, it’s another plus for carrots, that they can be successfully stored for long periods. But if you can get recently harvested ones, try them – as with any fruit or vegetable, the fresher the more flavorful.
At a family potluck last night they were scooped up, plates and fingers licked. Thanksgiving worthy.
Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad Recipe
TOTAL TIME 1 and 1/2 hours (including 40 – 50 minutes for roasting). 4 servings.
Ingredients: 3 garlic cloves, peeled/ 1 teaspoon cumin seeds/ 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves/ 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes/ Salt and ground black pepper/1 tablespoon red wine vinegar/ 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil/ 1 pound medium-size carrots peeled/ 1 orange, halved/ 1 lemon, halved/ 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut in thin wedges/ 1 ½ cups packed radish or other sprouts/ 3 tablespoons sour cream/ 3 tablespoons roasted hulled pumpkin seeds.
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small food processor or a mortar, pulse or pound the garlic with the cumin, thyme, chile flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to make a paste. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and mix well. Arrange carrots in a roasting pan and spread spice paste on top. Place *orange and lemon halves, cut side down, on carrots. Roast until carrots are tender and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Using tongs, arrange carrots on a serving platter.
*You may want to remove orange and lemon from the oven after 30 minutes or so. If cooked too long their juice disappears into the pan. Not a bad thing, but there will be little available for making the dressing.
With a dishtowel to protect your hands, squeeze juice from the roasted orange and lemon halves into a measuring cup. You should have about 1/2 cup juice. Beat in remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some of this sauce over the carrots.
Arrange avocado over carrots, then scatter sprouts on top. Drizzle with reserved sauce, top with dollops of sour cream (or not) and a sprinkling of the seeds. Serve.
Or just a platter of the roasted carrots with the dressing, a few greens and the sunflower seeds.
More carrot recipes from Mixed Greens: Curried Carrot & Apple Soup, Carrot Raita, Carrot, Dill & Parsley Salad.