Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Continuing with detox/salad week, I made this Jamie Oliver winter salad last Wednesday when we were snowed in. With 20 inches of snow outside, it was so nice to wear sweatpants all day long and turn on the oven. Not to mention that it was our first week back to work, and a “free” day in the middle of that week was very much welcomed.

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I went to the book store right when we arrived home from our trip; I wanted to find a Vietnamese cookbook. I found a great one – Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. I’d highly recommend it. The dangerous thing about being in a book store is seeing all the books! Hundreds! Thousands! And of course I can never get out with just one. So I came home with Nguyen’s book as well as Jamie Oliver’s jamie at home. Perfect.

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Eric and I both loved this salad. Really loved it. We couldn’t stop talking about it. In fact, I want to make it again immediately. The only thing I would change: Jamie (yes, we’re on a first name basis) recommends serving it with sour cream; I think a nice thick greek yogurt would be even better (and just that much healthier!).

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Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

from jamie at home

1 pound carrots and parsnips
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dried chili flakes (Jamie recommends fresh chillies; I forgot to buy them at the store)
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
extra virgin olive oil (as Jamie would say, a few glugs)
red wine vinegar
1 orange
1 lemon
2 ripe avocados
greens – I used radicchio and arugula
sour cream or greek yogurt
mixed seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then pop in the carrots and parsnips for 5-10 minutes – just until their soft. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, combine the cumin seeds, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Then add the fresh thyme (picked from the stem) and garlic and keep smashing. Then add a glug of olive oil and a splash of vinegar. When the carrots and parsnips are done, rub this mixture of goodness all over them.

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Place the carrots and parsnips on a roasting pan along with the orange and lemon, halved. (I threw in a key lime for good measure, but it’s not necessary). Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.

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While the carrots and parsnips are roasting, halve the avocados and slice them. When the carrots and parsnips are done, assemble the salad. If using radicchio, you can grill the leaves to remove some of the bitterness first. Then layer the greens, carrots, and avocados.

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Prepare a dressing by mixing the juice of the roasted orange and lemon with some olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, then top with a bit of greek yogurt or sour cream and some mixed seeds.

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