CARROT AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH CRUNCHY SEEDS

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I have been dying to try this Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe for sometime now. I am such a fan of his Kale Salad that I had a feeling I would love the flavors in this Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds. And, I was right. The cumin and citrus scented carrots are delicious on their own and even better when paired with the creamy avocado and toasted seeds. I opted out of using sour cream and used spicy arugula instead of sprouts. This would be a great dish to make for a dinner party, as you can make the carrots ahead of time. I have a feeling I will be making this for many dinner parties in the months to come.

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CARROT AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH CRUNCHY SEEDS

Serves 4

SALAD

1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon raw pepitas

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Cumin Citrus Roasted Carrots (see recipe below)

1 avocado, halved and pitted, cut into thin wedges

4 cups wild arugula

sour cream (optional)

edible flowers for garnish (optional)

CUMIN CITRUS SCENTED CARROTS

1 pound medium organic carrots, peeled

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flake

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 organic oranges

2 organic lemons, halved

To prepare the carrots:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a wide pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until a knife pierces them easily, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, cumin, thyme, chili flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper until crushed and pasty. Add the vinegar and 1/4 cup of the oil and continue pounding until well mixed. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor or blender until pasty.

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Drain the carrots and arrange in a medium roasting pan in a single layer. Spoon the cumin mixture over. Cut the whole orange in half. Arrange the orange halves and 2 of the lemon halves over the carrots, cut sides down. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots are golden brown. Transfer the carrots to a platter.

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When citrus is cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice from the roasted orange and lemon into a small bowl. Squeeze the orange juice from the remaining orange half as well as 2 tablespoons lemon juice from the remaining lemon. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the carrots.

To prepare the salad:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and golden, but not golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool completely.

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Arrange the carrots on a serving platter, reserving the accompanying sauce. Put the avocado and then the arugula on top. Drizzle with the reserved sauce.

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If you are using sour cream, add a dollop on top. Sprinkle with the seeds. Garnish with edible flowers if desired. Serve immediately.

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Adapted from The New York Times.

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