Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Perfect Vegetarian Dish - Carrot, Avocado, and Orange Salad

I am the farthest thing from vegetarian that exists, but I do try to keep a few recipes handy for those times when I have people coming for dinner and I'm unsure of everyone's dining pleasures.  This is a salad that's perfect for your vegetarian friends.  I love it too, because it has three of my favorite ingredients.

4 medium garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
Sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb baby carrots about the size of your pointer finger
3 oranges
3 avocados (chilled)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cilantro sprigs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and smash the garlic and mix with a pinch of salt.  Work into a wet, smooth paste.  Put the paste into a large mixing bowl and add the cumin and red pepper flakes.  Add the olive oil and stir well.

Add the carrots and toss to coat with the oil and spices.  Sprinkle with 3 pinches of sea salt and continue to toss.  Pour the carrots into a baking dish.  Tilt the dish and pour 1/4 cup water into an empty spot to avoid removing any of the coating from the carrots.  Cover with foil and put in the oven.  Cook for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for about 25 more minutes.  The carrots should be as tender as the avocados.

While the carrots are roasting, peel and cut the orange into segments.  Pour any juice into a small bowl.

When the carrots are done, allow them to sit and cool until slightly warm.

Halve the avocados and remove the pits.  Cut the flesh lengthwise into slices about the same size as the carrots.  the slices should be sturdy enough that they don't break when you toss them.

Put the avocado slices in a large serving bowl and add the reserved oranges.  Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp olive oil, and a healthy pinch or two o sea salt.  Toss gently and well with your hands. Push the avocado to one side of the bowl.  Add the carrots a handful at a time, scraping and tossing them in the beautiful green liquid in the bowl before adding the next handful..  Make sure to scrape out and add all the garlicky spices left in the baking dish.  Toss it all together gently, being careful not to break the avocado slices.

Serve in a pretty serving dish and top with a little bit of Cilantro.

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