ABC Kitchen’s Carrot and Avocado Salad
Adapted slightly from Daily Candy
This salad is just about perfect as is, so I made minimal adjustments. The crunchy seeds and the marinated carrots playing against the creamy soft avocado is sheer perfection. Chef Dan Kluger knows his way around a vegetable, so if you’re ever contemplating a vegetarian meal in a non-vegetarian restaurant, ABC Kitchen is one of your best bets. Oh, and meat eaters, not to worry – he does magical things with animal protein as well. For this recipe here, you will make more crunchy seeds than you need, but it’s a nice thing to have around and sprinkle, liberally, on salads of all kinds. If you don’t these in your pantry, then divide the amounts by 4 and you should get, roughly, what you need just for this salad alone. I upped the amount sour cream from 1 teaspoon per plate, to 1 tablespoon. As a Russian, I can’t fathom wanting to eat only a minuscule dollop of the stuff, but by all means, do what makes you happy.
For the Crunchy Seeds:
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup white sesame seeds
For the Salad:
1 pound medium carrots, peeled
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon chile flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ oranges
2 lemons, halved
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into thin wedges
¼ cup sour cream
3 cups micro greens (optional) or sprouts, preferably a mix of radish and beet
Make the Crunchy Seeds:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; position the rack in the middle. Spread seeds in a single layer on a shallow baking sheet, Bake, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly toasted and golden, but not golden brown. Transfer to a place and set aside. Keep the oven on.
Make the Salad:
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until a knife pierces them easily, about 15 minutes. Drain and arrange carrots in a single layer in a parchment-lined medium roasting pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a small dry pan set over low heat, toast cumin seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, and add garlic, thyme, chile flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Pound until crushed and pasty, add vinegar, and ¼ cup of the olive oil, and continue pounding until well-mixed. Spoon the cumin mixture all over carrots and roll carrots around so they are well-coated with the marinade.
4. Cut the whole orange in half, and arrange 2 of the orange halves and 2 of the lemon halves over the carrots, cut-side down. Roast for about 25 minutes or until carrots are golden brown. Transfer carrots to a platter.
5. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon into a small jar, and squeeze out the remaining citrus. You should have between ½ and ⅔ cup of blended citrus juice. Measure out ¼ cup of the blended juice (reserve the rest for another use – perhaps to be used as dressing elsewhere?), season with salt and pepper, and whisk in the remianing 2 tablespoons of oil until emulsified. Drizzle some of the dressing over carrots reserving some for the next step.
6. Arrange carrots on 4 plates. Divide avocado and sprouts across and place on top of carrots. Drizzle with the reserve dressing. Place a dollop of sour cream on top of each mound, then sprinkle with seeds. Serve immediately.