Sunday, January 6, 2013

Carrot & Avocado Salad with Peruvian Potatoes, Baby Kale & Roasted Citrus Tahini

This salad hits all the marks: crunchy, creamy, sweet, sour and salty. Roasting the carrots and potatoes in a garlic-thyme olive oil adds another depth of flavor before you even drizzle on the tahini dressing that oozes with roasted citrus juice. Baby kale is something I only recently started seeing in my grocery store, sold in containers instead of in bunches. It has an incredibly soft, tender flavor and almost all of the bitterness that hides in adult kale is missing in these baby leaves. I find it much more palatable to eat raw than the large leaves. If you can't find baby kale, substitute baby spinach or arugula leaves.

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Caramelized carrots and purple potatoes delicately composed with buttery avocado, baby kale, sunflower and sesame seeds tossed in a roasted lemon and orange tahini dressing.

Carrot & Avocado Salad
serves 3 
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
5 carrots, halved, lengthwise
1 lb baby purple potatoes, halved
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
3 handfuls baby kale or spinach
1 avocado, thinly sliced
3 tbl raw sunflower seeds
1 tbl black or white sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400.
In a blender, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Blend to combine. Toss the carrots and potatoes with the oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the orange and lemon halves on the baking sheet as well, cut side up. Roast for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized.
Assemble a salad with the roasted vegetables, baby kale, avocado and seeds.
Use the citrus to make the tahini dressing.

Roasted Citrus Tahini
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1 roasted orange
juice of 1 roasted lemon
1-2 tbl water
1 tbl maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all of the ingredients, adding more water to thin out the dressing if it remains too thick. Season with salt to taste.

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