Dirt to Table Experience: A Salad that is Dressed to Impress- A Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing

You can create a salad with incredible flavors, colors and textures.  A good salad is worthy of recognition and is remembered after it is experienced.

There are so many people who have no relationship with salad-they consider it a “diet food” something they should eat  “more of”  they purchase a couple of “on sale” bags of lettuce along with a bottle of processed salad dressing and call it salad.  We expect more of the same with our entree at the local feeding trough too.   Yet salad is so deeply ingrained into our food culture and somewhere along the way we have forgotten how to enjoy it, and more importantly forgotten how to give salad our best ingredients.

According to Food and Wine Magazine this salad won their “Best-Ever” First Course Salad.  I can believe it.  It takes a little extra-time, there are a few extra ingredients, but when it comes together you realize what salad is all about-

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing
Serves 6
Recipe from Jaime Oliver

1 pound medium carrots
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 fresh red chili
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 orange,  halved
1 lemon, halved
Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of ciabatta bread
3 Hass avocados-pitted, peeled and cut into 6 edges each
8-ounces assorted greens, such as watercress, spinach or mesclun
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1.  Preheat the oven to 375degrees F.  Bring a deep skillet of salted water to a boil.  Add the carrots and simmer, covered over moderately low heat until crisp-tender, 10 minutes.  Drain and transfer the carrots to a large roasting pan.
2.  In a mortar, crush the cumin seeds, chile pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Add garlic and thyme and pound into a paste.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar.
3.  Pour the cumin dressing over the carrots and toss.  Add the orange and lemon halves to the roasting pan, cut side down.  Roast for about 25 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
4.  Meanwhile, toast the ciabatta until the edges are golden brown.  Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and, in a large bowl, gently toss with avocados, greens and arugula.  In a small bowl, combine the sunflower, sesame and poppy seeds.
5.  Using tongs, squeeze the hot orange and lemon halves into a measuring cup until you have about 1/3 cup of juice.  Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add the warm carrots to the bowl along with the citrus dressing and toss to coat.  Transfer the salad to plates and drizzle with the sour cream.  Sprinkle the salad with the seed mixture and serve.

33 thoughts on “Dirt to Table Experience: A Salad that is Dressed to Impress- A Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing

  1. I know that when you take the time to make a really good salad it's well worth the effort. Too often, we (myself included) simply \”toss\” together a salad as an afterthought — and then we really don't think much of it. When a salad takes the stage, front and center like your gorgeous one, it deserves standing ovations.


  2. I have made this salad and was amazed by the combination of roasted carrots and avocado. Was happy to see it chosen as tops in Food & Wine's article–well deserved!Your comment \”remembered after it is experienced\” sums it up perfectly!


  3. If there's one thing I hate, it's a boring salad…and if there's one thing I love, it's an exciting one! Love the sound of this with all these delicious flavors and mix-ins!


  4. Bottled dressing? What's that? I love making my own dressings and citrus gives such a lovely zing to it. I never thought to use roasted carrots. This is far from boring.


  5. Love this Velva – always love a rich citrus brightener. And then the mellow avocado – and all the goodies. Besides, I never met a salad I couldn't fatten up – no diet food here. Just grand salads (and chocolate).


  6. Hi Velva,This must-try salad looks gorgeous for its colour, texture and taste. Definitely worth the effort of assembling the long list of ingredients together.Zoe


  7. What a salad Velva and what a source of credibility in ranking this salad as one of the best! Sounds good to me and I'm one of those people who LOVES salads, craves salads, and savors every moment of eating salads! Thanks for the recipe!Roz


  8. Wow, it's been a long time since I've stopped by. Though I'm always following along and love all your pictures.We are eating more and more veggies these days so salads are a staple for us here in my house.. and we love to experiment with toppings.Love the roasted carrots idea!!


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