Finally, spring has come! (Let’s pretend the word snow doesn’t exist, especially in April!) This roasted carrot salad is a wonderful way to welcome the warm weather - when it finally comes. It would also make a special addition to your Easter menu.
This is a variation of a recipe from Jamie Oliver and from ABC Kitchen in New York from Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I’ve shortened the steps somewhat and the blanching time for the carrots. I like them with some firmness.
Roasted Carrot Salad (serves 6)
For the carrots and dressing:
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and left whole if skinny, cut in half lengthwise if thick
1 garlic clove, peeled, center stalk removed and pressed
2 tsps. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili flakes
1 tbl. fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsps. red wine vinegar
8 tbls. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 oranges - squeeze the juice from 1 half, cut the other orange in half
1 1/2 lemons - squeeze the juice from 1 half, cut the other orange in half
For the salad:
2 ripe avocados
2 handfuls baby arugula
1 handful alfalfa or other small sprouts
2/3 cup sour cream (It’s just a bit. I recommend using full fat sour cream)
2 tbls. sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbls. sunflower seeds, toasted
optional:1 avocado, cut into slices
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a food processor (a small one is great for this), process together garlic, cumin, chili flakes, thyme, salt and pepper, red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in 1 teaspoon of the fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon of the fresh lemon juice. (Set aside the rest of the juice for the moment.)
Pour the mixture from the food processor over the carrots on the baking sheet. Toss well. Place the unsqueezed orange and lemon halves on the baking sheet, cut side down, and roast with the carrots for 25 to 30 minutes, until the carrots are beginning to brown.
Using tongs, squeeze the juice from one of the roasted lemon halves and one of the roasted orange halves into a small bowl. Stir in the reserved fresh lemon and orange juices. Whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and that’s your dressing. Cut the other fruit halves in wedges to use as a garnish.
To assemble, arrange the carrots on a platter. Arrange handfuls of the baby arugula around the carrots. Spoon over some the dressing. Top the carrots with alfalfa sprouts, then spoonfuls of sour cream and lastly sprinkle over the toasted nuts. Arrange the roasted fruit wedges on the platter. Serve extra dressing separately.
Add slices of avocado in between the carrots.