Monday, August 3, 2009

roasted carrot and avocado salad

roasted carrot and avocado salad

As it turns out, it has been nearly two years since I attempted to recreate a carrot salad I’d had at The Spotted Pig, completely lost interest in it halfway through the cooking process, burned dinner and went out for a fairly forgettable dish at a nearby restaurant instead. What a shame, right? This salad deserves better than to be passive-aggressively swapped out for noodles and left to collect dust for years.

spectral carrots
rainbow carrots

So let’s try this again, because it couldn’t be simpler. You roast carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and a smidgen of cumin. When they’re done, you top them with slices of fresh avocado, some squeezes of lemon juice and fresh seasoning. And that’s it. But this is so much more fun that your standard roasted carrots, ubiquitous alongside every winter roast. I mean, it’s 85 degrees out, I don’t need a side of mashed potatoes. No, these are summer roasted carrots, straight from the market, contrasted with fresh ingredients.

avocado slices

ready to roast

And of course, finding some rainbow carrots at the Greenmarket is not a prerequisite for this dish. But if you do find them, it’s nice to know a way to cook them that will only show off how pretty they are — unlike the time I made an ill-advised purple/yellow/orange carrot cake, which is I think all we need to say about that.

roasted carrot and avocado salad

More carrots: Well, Carrot Cake, of course, but also Pickled Carrot Sticks and my favorite carrot salad that is not this, David Lebovitz’s Salad de Carrottes Râpées (Shredded Carrot Salad)

One year ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars
Two years ago: Quick Zucchini Sauté

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Inspired by The Spotted Pig

1 pound carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into two-inch segments (angled if you’re feeling fancy)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 an avocado, pitted and sliced (we had a mega-’cado and only used 1/4 of it)
Juice of half a lemon

Roast the carrots: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrot chunks in a medium bowl with two tablespoons of the olive oil, cumin and as generous of a helping of salt and pepper as you like. (We like a lot. Especially with sweet things like carrots.)

Spread them on a roasting sheet (I lined ours with foil because despite having a dishwasher these days, old must-create-fewer-dishes-at-all-times habits die hard) and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and browned. Of course, roasting time will vary depending on the thickness of your carrots. Our heftier chunks took over 30.

Finish the salad: Once the carrots are roasted, arrange them on a serving platter with slices of avocado on top. Drizzle the salad with the last tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice and extra salt and pepper, if it needs it. Eat immediately.


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