Food is a main focus in my life, good wholesome produce and flavours that ignite the senses -thats what I'm about. This salad came from having a few random things in the kitchen and not so sure how to combine them. I've recently started using the search tool on Food52 to find new recipes (I know, I know it's about time). By using it, I discover new flavour combinations, it also challenges me to work with what I've got. This Carrot and Avocado Salad was the first result when I began my search. I was intrigued by the roasted citrus dressing that was paired with it. If you don't have an orange handy, I've used limes in it's place before and it still works really well!
2 pounds small carrots (3 to 4 inches, ½ inch thick)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 avocado, cut into 12 wedges
2 cups mixed baby sprouts, herbs, and microgreens
4 tablespoons crème fraiche
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Season with salt, set over high heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and transfer them to a medium bowl.
1. Cut the orange and lemon in half and juice half of each one, reserving the juice and the unjuiced halves, and discarding the juiced halves. Combine the cumin, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of the orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Season the marinade to taste with salt and pepper. Add the marinade and the unjuiced citrus halves to the carrots and toss to combine. Spread the carrots and citrus halves on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the carrots are slightly shriveled with a few brown spots, about 20 minutes. Allow the carrots to cool to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile squeeze the juice from the roasted citrus halves into a small bowl. Add the remaining fresh orange juice, lemon juice, remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, and the sugar. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
3. Divide the carrots and avocado slices onto four plates. Divide the greens among the plates on top of the carrots and avocado. Add a tablespoon of crème fraiche to each salad. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and sesame seeds over each plate.
4. Drizzle several tablespoons of dressing over and around each salad (reserve any remaining dressing for another use), and serve immediately.