Roasting certain vegetables transforms them from crunchy, light, and mediocre into sweet, creamy, crispy and decadent. In the winter, I regularly roast brussels sprouts and cauliflower as a side to pretty much any dish. Here in SF, with my CSA and the abundance of farmers’ market, I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to eat my fruits and vegetables. I loved this roasted carrot salad because the carrots and avocado have a similar creamy texture. The avocado is cold and neutral and the carrot is warm with bite. I made this dish again recently and added heirloom tomatoes. The sweet, acidic tomatoes were a perfect fit.
Roasted Carrot Salad (adapted from the cookbook a girl and her pig) – serves 4
- 30 young carrots or 15 small organic carrots with 1/2 inch of the green tops left on
- 3 ripe avocados, chilled
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed into a paste
- sea salt to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- handful of cilantro and/or flat-leaf parsley
- two large heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges or 3 small oranges cut into segments (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place smashed garlic paste in a large mixing bowl.
- Add cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir well.
- Add the carrots and toss well so they’re coated with the oil and spices.
- Sprinkle 3 healthy pinches of salt and toss again.
- Put the carrots in a large shallow baking dish in one layer.
- Scrape out the extra spice mixture from the bowl and spread evenly on top of the carrots.
- Pour 1/4 cup of water into an empty spot in the casserole and tilt the dish so the water spreads across the bottom.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and put it in the oven.
- Cook carrots for 25 minutes.
- Take off foil and keep cooking until the carrots are lightly browned and about as tender as avocado flesh – about 30 minutes more.
- Take carrots out of the oven and allow carrots to cool.
- Meanwhile, slice the avocados lengthwise, about the same size of the carrots.
- Put avocados in a large mixing bowl, add oranges or tomatoes (if using), lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple pinches of salt. Toss gently with your hands.
- Add carrots to the bowl of avocados, making sure to scrape the spice mixture into the bowl. Toss gently as to not break the avocado slices.
- Stack the carrots and avocados on a platter and top with cilantro/parsley.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Figs Salad (adapted from the cookbook Jerusalem) – serves 4
- 4 small sweet potatoes ~ 2 1/4 lb
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 12 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch segments
- 1 serrano pepper or red chile thinly sliced
- 6-8 ripe figs, quartered
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 oz Greek yogurt (optional)
- preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, and then cut each half again into 3 long wedges.
- mix potatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper.
- spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
- remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- make balsamic reduction: place balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until it thickens.
- arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter.
- heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan and add the green onions and chile – fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often.
- spoon the oil, onions oil, and chile over the sweet potatoes.
- place the figs among the wedges.
- drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- top with greek yogurt, if using.
Roasted eggplant with tomato, cucumber, radish salad – serves 4
- 2 eggplants, halved lengthwise with stems on. (I used chinese eggplant because I prefer it)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp sumac
- 2 oz feta cheese, chopped into large chunks
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 persian cucumbers, sliced
- 4-6 radishes thinly sliced
- 2 heirloom tomatoes diced
- 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch of mint, chopped
- preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- score the cut side of each eggplant with crisscross pattern
- brush the cut sides with 4 to 5 tablespoons of the oil and spring liberally with salt and pepper.
- place on a baking sheet, cut side up, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is golden brown and completely cooked
- while eggplants are roasting, place feta, cumin, and 1 tsp sumac, 1 tablespoon of oil in a small bowl and mix.
- in a separate bowl add cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, parsley, mint, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tsp sumac, and salt and pepper. mix together.
- transfer the roasted eggplants to a serving dish and spoon the feta mixture over the flesh.
- squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon over the eggplants.
- place salad next to eggplant.