Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing

This salad is incredible, we found this in our new cookbook ” Jamie at Home”. It does take some time to cook the carrots, but it is Oh So worth it. Each ingredient adds something special to this dish, the carrots are amazingly flavorful, the roast citrus dressing is perfection, the peppery crisp salad leaves and crunchy ciabatta bread “croutons” with a creamy dollop of plain yogurt… you have to try it to believe it’s awesomeness. We made this a dinner meal so it was 2 very large, and satisfying, servings; but you can make it into however many you want. It will not keep as leftovers, so make sure to plan accordingly ( i.e. divide in half for less):

Ingredients:

1 pound medium mixed colored carrots, with their leafy tops

Sea salt

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon thyme

Extra-virgin olive oil

Red or white wine vinegar

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

2 large ripe avocados

4 (1/2-inch thick) slices ciabatta bread

2 handfuls mixed salad leaves and arugula, washed and spun dry

1 bunches watercress

2/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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, covered with foil and spray with pam. While the carrots are cooking smash up the cumin, chilles, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one! Stir together, then rub on the carrots in the pan while they are hot, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down. These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.

While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the 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; then toast or broil your ciabatta slices.  While they toast up, carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl through a mesh strainer ( to catch the seeds) 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.
Tear the toasted bread into little pieces ( like croutons) and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and cress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of yogurt, sprinkle over your toasted seeds.

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