04 March 2009
an homage to jamie.
Jamie Oliver has a magazine! My mom came across it at Barnes and Noble the other day and I couldn't be more excited. I can't get enough of Jamie Oliver. He has always been my favorite. I was a huge fan of the Naked Chef... it must be the british thing that started it all, but I have been hooked ever since.
Last fall when I saw that Food Network was showing his new series "Jamie at Home" I immediately set the DVR (8:30 a.m. on a Saturday is a little early for me to commit to) and it really is a great show. The cookbook, also great. Jamie shows people how to cook using more local ingredients by cooking straight out of his garden. I love it! I also knew when I saw this recipe that I would love it as well. But I wanted to wait for the right carrots. You see, the carrots that Jamie used were all different beautiful colors and I never knew where I would ever find carrots like that. So I filed the recipe away and hoped that I would find some someday. And that someday came one of the first weeks we were in Lincoln. The little co-op around the corner, Open Harvest, had the most beautiful carrots! I immediately picked some up and that next day we had this salad. It has so much flavor and an amazing texture. Your meat-eating significant other won't even notice the lack of meat. So, in honor of Jamie's new magazine, here is that recipe for you.
Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing
adapted from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver
1 pound medium mixed colored carrots, with their leafy tops
2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 lime, halved, optional
3 ripe avocados
4 (1/2-inch thick) slices ciabatta or other good-quality bread
4 handfuls interesting mixed salad leaves, washed and spun dry
2/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
4 tablespoons mixed seeds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. You should flavor them while they're steaming hot, so while the carrots are cooking get a pestle and mortar and smash up the cumin seeds, chilles, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. The idea here is to build up the flavors. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one! Stir together, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange, lemon and lime halves, cut side down. These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados. Carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together, have a taste and correct the seasoning. Call your gang round the table while you toast or broil your ciabatta slices.
Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and drizzle over some extra-virgin olive oil.