*editor’s note: This is the first post in our new “Market Fresh” series, in which Elizabeth Winslow, one of our favorite cooks and food writers, will be spotlighting good-for-you recipes using the freshest seasonal ingredients. She’s kicking it off with a salad that I tasted at her house a few years ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. So glad we convinced her to share the recipe! Welcome Elizabeth!
For me, January’s all about letting the light in. Even after a string of gloomy, gray winter days, I can feel each day getting just the tiniest bit longer, and I feel awake and inspired by all the new year has to offer. This salad—bright, citrusy, and full of exotic flavors—is exactly what I’m craving right now. The market is overflowing with all kinds of good things to eat—greens, beets, beautiful watermelon radishes, tender sweet peas—but I’m most excited by the heirloom carrots that come in a full spectrum of happy yellows and oranges, creamy white, and deep garnet red. This salad makes the most of carrots’ sweetness and crunch, playing it off against creamy avocado, bright roasted citrus, and a scattering of toasty spices and seeds. It’s healthy, sure, but it’s so warm and cheerful and delicious, that’s almost beside the point.
- 1 bunch of carrots (a mix of colors is fun), peeled and cut lengthwise
- 1 avocado
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 small orange or tangerine, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c. olive oil
- 4 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- salt to taste
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- a large handful of baby greens, arugula, and/or mixed interesting salad greens, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces if large
- a few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp, paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ c. mixed seeds (I used sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds)
- a dollop of thick Greek yogurt for serving
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Place mixed seeds in a small skillet and toast over medium to low heat. Set aside to cool.
- Place carrots in a large bowl. Add paprika, cumin, garlic, thyme sprigs, lemon, and orage halves. Drizzle with ¼ c. olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- Toss well to coat, then season to taste with salt. Toss again and place in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet, and roast until carrots begin to caramelize but are still crunchy.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- When lemons and oranges are cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice into a salad bowl or other large mixing bowl and add the pan juices from the baking sheet.
- Discard the squeezed citrus halves. Slowly drizzle remaining olive oil into the citrus juice mixture, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified.
- Slice avocado and drizzle with a little lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
- Add carrots, salad greens, and red onion to bowl with dressing, and toss well to coat.
- Place on a serving platter or on individual plates and arrange avocado slices amongst carrots and greens. Sprinkle with toasted seeds and serve with a dollop of yogurt on the side.