Upon receiving a copy of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Home Cooking with Jean-Georges, there was something quite familiar about this particular Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds. After a bit of poking around I realized that it was the very same salad served at ABC Kitchen. Vongerichten called it "the dish that elicited the most wows from the table." Quite a tall order considering the health-nutty sprouts and seeds. But with an endorsement like that, you have to make it.
Adapted for the home kitchen, the salad is tweaked from the restaurant version, but cumin roasted carrots, creamy slices of avocado, and scattering of crunchy seeds are all there and genius together—spicy, sweet, nutty, and creamy and just shy of being one hundred percent good for you thanks to a welcome dollop of cool and tangy sour cream.
Of course, this salad is essentially two recipes in one: the cumin roasted carrots and the salad. On their own the carrots are exciting; eoasting brings out their sweetness but the mashed cumin, chile, garlic and thyme paste that they're roasted in brings out a level of worldliness not often seen in a carroty side.
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- Cumin and Citrus Roasted Carrots (recipe follows)
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into thin wedges
- 4 cups sprouts, preferably a mix of radish and beet
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sour cream
- Edible flowers, for garnish, optional
- Cumin and Citrus Roasted Carrots
- 1 pound medium carrots, peeled
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 oranges
- 2 lemons, halved
For the Cumin and Citrus Roasted Carrots: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bring a wide pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until a knife pierces them easily, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, cumin, thyme, chile 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper until crushed and pasty. Add the vinegar and 1/4 cup of the olive oil and continue pounding until well mixed. Alternatively, pulse in a blender or food processor until pasty.
Drain the carrots and arrange in a medium roasting pan in a single layer. Spoon the cumin mixture over. Cut the whole orange in half. Arrange the orange halves and 2 of the lemon halves over the carrots, cut sides down. Roast for 25 minutes or until the carrots are golden brown. Transfer the carrots to a platter.
When cool enough to handle, squeeze 2 tablespoons juice each from the roasted orange and lemon into a small bowl. Squeeze in 2 tablespoons from the remaining orange half as well as 2 tablespoons lemon juice from the remaining lemon. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the carrots.
For the salad:Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spread the sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and golden, but not golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool completely.
Arrange the carrots on a serving platter, reserving the accompanying sauce. Put the avocado and then the sprouts on top. Drizzle with the reserved sauce.
Dollop the sour cream over the top, then sprinkle with the seeds. Garnish with flowers if desired. Serve immediately.