An idea shamelessly stolen from New York-based chef April Bloomfield and slightly fiddled around with. Roasted carrots and avocados are surprisingly good together. This makes a very grand platter to open a meal, or serve it on the side with roast chicken, or with another vegetable dish.
For the salad
30 young carrots, ideally slim
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon chili flakes
salt and pepper
3 ripe avocados
3 1/2 tablespoons walnut pieces, toasted
3 1/2oz watercress, coarse stalks removed
leaves from a small bunch of cilantro
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
For the dressing
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon honey
squeeze of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim the carrots at the top but leave a little of green tuft on. If you can’t find slim carrots, halve or quarter large ones. Don’t peel them; just wash them well. Put in a roasting pan in which they can lie in a single layer. Add the olive oil, spices, and seasoning. Turn the carrots over in this to ensure they are all well coated. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes; they will become tender and shrink slightly. Be careful not to overcook them.
To make the dressing, just beat everything together with a fork. Halve and pit the avocados, cut into slices, then carefully peel each slice. Put everything except the yogurt, garlic, and pomegranates into a broad shallow bowl (or onto a platter) and gently toss in three-quarters of the dressing. Mix the yogurt with the garlic and dot spoonfuls of this among the vegetables, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. Spoon on the rest of the dressing and serve.
Excerpted from Simple by Diana Henry. Copyright 2016 Mitchell Beazley.
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