Carrots with Grilled Citrus, Avocado, Pistachios, and All of the Seeds
This dish is inspired by a roasted carrot salad at ABC Kitchen in New York. It has a bit of everything: earthiness from the carrots and pimentón, cool creaminess from the avocado, a satisfying, nutty crunch from the seeds, and a lovely sweetness from the grilled citrus dressing. If you don’t feel like getting all of the seeds, just bump up the amount of the ones you are using.
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds, roasted, unsalted
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, roasted, unsalted
80g pistachios, shelled, roasted, unsalted
120g extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp pimentón or smoked paprika
1 navel orange
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
freshly ground pepper
2 avocados, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
In a clean, dry skillet over medium heat, toast all seeds and nuts one kind at a time. Beginning with the sesame seeds, add the seeds to the skillet and stir often until they begin to smell nutty and turn golden. (Watch carefully; they go from golden to burnt in a blink). Transfer seeds to a medium bowl, and repeat process with the sunflower seeds and follow with the pumpkin seeds, adding each to the bowl with the sesame seeds. Finally, toast the pistachios. When they begin to smell fragrant and turn brown in spots, move them to a cutting board and coarsely chop them or place them in a zip-top bag and crush them lightly. Add them to the bowl with all of the other seeds and a big pinch of salt. Set aside.
Peel the carrots. If your carrots are small, leave them whole. If they’re larger than 2cm or so in diameter, cut them in half once crosswise and once lengthwise to make carrot sticks. Toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pimentón. Heat your barbecue to medium and cook until there are even grill marks and the carrots are softened but not at all mushy, 4-5 minutes per side. When the carrots are done, transfer them to a platter.
While you’re grilling the carrots, cut the orange and lemon in half and add both to the barbecue, cut-side down. Cook until the fruit has softened and caramelised.
When the citrus is done, remove from the barbecue. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the orange and lemon halves into a measuring cup until you have 120ml of juice. Whisk in the apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp of salt, freshly ground pepper, and 90ml of olive oil.
To assemble, toss rocket with a few tablespoons of dressing and lay on a platter. Add carrots, arrange the avocado slices around and over the carrots, and drizzle with more dressing. (You may not use it all.) Top with seeds and serve.
The dressing keeps refrigerated for 1 week. Store any extra seed mix in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
INDOOR METHOD: Prepare seeds and nuts as directed. Preheat grill. Trim, oil and season carrots as directed; cut citrus, too. On a foil-lined baking sheet, add the carrots and the citrus. Grill, tossing once half way through, until they are well charred in spots and tender, 8-10 minutes. Proceed with remainder of recipe as directed.
Extracted from Vegetables on Fire: 50 Vegetable-Centred Meals from the Grill by Brooke Lewy (Chronicle Books, approx €16), http://abramsandchronicle.co.uk/books/food-and-drink/9781452158242-vegetables-on-fire
Photography © 2017 by Erin Kunkel