Archive for March, 2012

March 20, 2012

Carrot and Avocado Salad, and I’m back!!!

It’s oddly snowing here in Portland, Oregon- yet again! Strange for us so late in March. March has been strange in general. I turned 30 years old last Tuesday. I’ve been thirty for almost a week. I was scared to turn thirty, but now I just feel great. To be honest- I feel special. So many amazing people helped me celebrate for an entire week. Lot’s of treats, an amazing meal at Toro Bravo, fun bubbles at Kir wine bar, crazy bowling, and late night madness. I would have to say 30 is great.

Thirty is also the year of the bicycle. P surprised me with a brand new one. I love it. It’s the most beautiful bike I have ever owned. It has a rack on the back and a basket in front. Perfect for stocking up on veggies and fruit from the Portland Farmers Market that’s now back and swinging for Spring- if we ever get a Spring.

This salad caught my eye on Pinterest. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe. I have great respect for Mr. Oliver’s work. He’s truly trying to teach us all that natural is always better. The work he has done with UK school system, and their lunch programs is inspiring. If only the US could follow his lead. Pizza as a vegetable- boo!

This salad was my fuel after boot camp today. Boot camp is killing me. In fact, the thought of eating this salad today was the only inspiration for me to finish that dreaded work out.

Crunchy, creamy, bready, tangy. Perfect balance! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m off to make some lentil soup for lunches this week.

Carrot and Avocado Salad

Adapted from Jamie at home

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium differently colored carrots with their tops
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • red wine vinegar
  • 4 x 1/2-inch thick slices of ciabatta or other crusty italian bread
  • 2 big handfuls interesting winter salad greens
  • 2 bunches watercress (or just increase the greens)
  • 2/3 c. creme fraiche, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons mixed seeds, toasted (I used Chia!)

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 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, chillies, salt, and pepper in a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash again until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. Stir together, then pour over the hot carrots in the tray, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut-side down. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.

While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel your 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. Use tongs to 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 this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together, have a taste, and correct the seasoning. Just before you’re ready to eat, toast or griddle the ciabatta slices.

Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and watercress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of creme fraiche, sprinkle the toasted seeds, and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.

******** Just a quick note, I posted the recipe the way it’s supposed to be made. I did not roast the fruit. I took the juice of a fresh lemon, and lime, with olive oil,  red wine vinegar, toasted cumin, salt, pepper, and dill and whisked up a super quick dressing. It was fabulous!!
xoxo
Sarah
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