In 2012, carrots, those little spark plugs in a salad or a stew, were having a moment. Chefs across the country were showcasing handsome, meaty specimens in a rainbow of colors, dressed and garnished without a sliver of meat or fish. Well, maybe a touch of bacon. This salad begins with carrots roasted in a spicy paste. It’s finished with smooth avocado, sprouts, sour cream and pumpkin seeds.
Preparation of Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad:
Step 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small food processor or a mortar, pulse or pound the garlic with the cumin, thyme, chile flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to make a paste. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and mix well.
Step 2. Arrange carrots in a roasting pan and spread spice paste on top. Place orange and lemon halves, cut side down, on carrots. Roast until carrots are tender and starting to brown, about 45 minutes.
Step 3. Using tongs, arrange carrots on a serving platter. With a dishtowel to protect your hands, squeeze juice from the roasted orange and lemon halves into a measuring cup. You should have about 1/2 cup juice. Beat in remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some of this sauce over the carrots.
Step 4. Arrange avocado over carrots, then scatter sprouts on top. Drizzle with reserved sauce, top with dollops of sour cream and a sprinkling of the seeds. Serve.