Next week, I’ll tell you a story. I promise.
Something magical. Something with faeries maybe. An angry faery named Tegan. Yeah, that sounds good.
Right now, it’s nine o’clock on a Friday and I can barely keep my head up. I am amazed at how thoroughly tired I feel. Everything is depleted, everything, everything. I am so entirely and wholly grateful to my parents, who drove to Maine from New York and took care of my dog while I was in Austin for six days. I walked into the house on Wednesday night, at one in the morning, and found four loaves of Irish Soda Bread waiting for me on the dining room table, and a fridge full of pasta and sauce and meatballs and chicken cutlets. What more could an exhausted thirty-two year old Irish/Italian ask for?
Things will resume their normal pace soon, I hope. For right now, all I’m focused on is taking said dog for one last walk and climbing into bed. Maybe I’ll shake the dreams of snow and cold and dream of this salad instead, all bright color and snap and verve. Nicole tells me it was delicious and I believe her- we eat with our eyes first and it’s a beauty, isn’t it?
Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing
500 Grams of medium carrots (leafy tops still attached)
2 Teaspoons of whole cumin seeds
1-2 Small, dried chillies
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Cloves of garlic, peeled
4 Sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 Orange, halved
1 Lemon, halved
3 Ripe avocados
Red wine vinegar
Small slices of ciabatta or other good-quality bread
2 Handfuls of mixed winter salad leaves (arugula, radicchio, Treviso), washed and dried
2 Punnets cress (just kidding, I have no idea what that is)
150 ml of fat-free yogurt
4 Tablespoons of mixed seeds, toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Parboil your carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes until they’re nearly cooked. While they’re cooking, smash up the cumin seeds, chillies, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and smash them too, until you have a kind of paste. Add enough olive oil to cover the paste and a splash of vinegar. Stir together.
3. Drain the carrots and arrange them on a roasting tray. Pour over the marinade and coat the carrots well. Add the orange and lemon halves to the tray, cut-side down. Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
4. While the carrots and marinade are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discard the stones, then cut them into wedges lengthways and place in a big bowl.
5. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the bowl with the avocados. Using tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
6. Mix together, have a taste and correct the seasoning.
7. Toast your bread. Tear the toasted bread into little pieces and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together and toss in salad leaves. Spoon over a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with toasted seeds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.