Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad with Cumin Citrus Dressing

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Carrots from Friday Venice, CA Farmers Market

Carrots elude me because I don’t really care for them raw, or even in the traditional french glazed manner.  Yet they are so healthy and now is the time of year that I tend to eat much more fruit and veggies, and less meat and starch.  I’ve been looking for a way to make carrots delicious and I’ve found it!  Tossed with an herb/garlic/cumin/olive oil dressing while roasting,  then re-dressed with roasted citrus juice, vinegar and more olive oil before serving, and paired with creamy, mild avocado, this recipe is the ticket.

My mother often roasts carrots as part of a roasted vegetable tray at buffet or holiday dinners, and I marvel at how delicious the little carrots are.  I think it’s just a simple concoction of olive oil, salt and carrots, so I decided to build on this idea, add more flavoring to the roasting “marinade” or coating, and add huge chunks of perfectly ripe summer avocado. My recipe is also an adaptation of a recipe I saw a very long time ago from Jamie Oliver which also included hunks of toasted ciabatta . . . a sort of carrot “panzanella”

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Ingredients
1 pound carrots, with their leafy tops
Sea salt
2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
3 ripe avocados

1/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. While the carrots are cooking, smash the cumin seeds, chilles, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good dash of vinegar.  Stir together, add parsley, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down.
  3. Roast carrots in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise 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 over the carrots and avocados.

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This recipe is submitted for Fiesta Friday #24.