Carrots, avocado, and sprouts may sound too standard to deserve your attention, but I assure you, this salad satisfies. It’s really the dukkah that does the trick— bright, spicy, salty, and a little sweet—it gives this salad a complex, savory depth.
4 TO 6 SERVINGS
3 pounds small carrots
2 whole chile de arbol
Fine sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 lemon, halved
3 ripe but firm large avocados
1/4 cup Sunflower Dukkah (below) or toasted sunflower seeds
3 to 4 ounces sunflower sprouts, halved crosswise if long
1 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, whole leaves and tender stems and/or flowers
1 serrano chile, very thinly sliced (optional)
Flaky sea salt
Chile Vinegar (optional)
Crème fraîche; plain, full-fat Greek yogurt; or labneh, store-bought or homemade, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Divide the carrots between the pans. Toss each batch with 1 torn chile de arbol, a pinch of fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon honey, and enough olive oil to coat every carrot. I toss everything right on the pan, using my hands to distribute the wet ingredients evenly. Spread the carrots in an even layer, making sure there is space for water to evaporate quickly (1/2 inch or so in between each one). Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once or twice, or until sticky and caramelized. Season each batch with a squeeze of lemon. Cool slightly.
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Slice in half lengthwise once more, peel each quarter, keeping the quarters intact, if possible. Season the avocado—directly on the cutting board—with a squeeze of lemon and 2 pinches of fine sea salt.On one serving platter or divided among 4 to 6 plates, layer the components in loose layers: avocado, carrot, a pinch of dukkah, sunflower sprouts, cilantro leaves, a few slices of serrano chile (if using), and a scattering of flaky sea salt; repeat the layering once more. Dot the chile vinegar (if using) or more lemon juice over the top, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve straight away with a bowl of crème fraîche, yogurt or labneh alongside, if you’d like.
APPROXIMATELY 3/4 CUP
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
3 tablespoons sesame seeds or benne seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
1/2 chile de arbol, stemmed
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons puffed quinoa (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the sunflower seeds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until brown. Place the coconut and sesame seeds on another rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Meanwhile, place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and chile in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat and dry-toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Let everything cool to room temperature, then transfer approximately half of the ingredients to a spice grinder or mortar, along with the salt. Grind into a coarse powder and transfer to a storage container with an airtight lid. Add the remaining mix to the grinder or mortar and pulse or pound until it is just coarsely chopped; add to the storage container and stir to combine. If using, stir in the puffed quinoa. Dukkah will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months, at which point its flavor begins to deteriorate.
Excerpterd from The Modern Larder by Michelle McKenzie (Roost Books) Photo Credit: Rick Poon.
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