Recipe and Article by Myrica Von Haselberg of Horno Magico
Late winter cuisine can be so drab. While dreaming about sun-warmed raspberries, luscious ripe tomatoes draped across my toasts, and nights warm as bathwater with gelid white wine . . . I am in fact eating cabbage, butternuts and frozen peaches. Again.
As soon as the tiniest violin in the world is done playing this song just for me, I will describe for you my solution. . . . sweet, sweet carrots. Make a run to the winter farmers market and get some right now, and if you can find the many hued varieties, so much the better! If you can only get some bagged up juice carrots fret not, their potential will be exploited to the utmost here. Create depth of flavor and pleasantly contrasting textures with this extremely satisfying salad.
Late Winter Carrot Salad
3 lbs carrots, cut lengthwise into sticks as large as a pencil
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp of fennel seed
1 tsp of coriander
freshly ground black pepper
2 sweet, fresh oranges
half of an avocado
squeeze of lime juice
finely diced cilantro
Toss these together on a parchment covered baking sheet, then spread them out so that they do not touch one another. You might need to use 2 baking sheets. Roast in a 425 degree oven until they are tender and very dark in some places.
Meanwhile, place 1 tsp of fennel seed and 1 tsp of coriander in a small pan over medium heat. When they darken a bit and smell toasted, tilt them into a mortar and grind finely with a pestle. Add a half teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Toss this spice mixture with the carrots when they are finished baking, and set aside.
Cut the peel and white membrane off the outside of your oranges. Then cut them crosswise into thin circles.
After removing the carrots from the oven turn the heat down to 350 and roast 1/4 cup of sliced almonds on a baking sheet until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Dice the avocado into half inch cubes, sprinkle with lime juice and a spare dusting of salt.
To assemble the salad: start with a large plate or broad, shallow bowl. Spread the carrots evenly over the bottom, allowing them to loop and curl whimsically. Next, sprinkle on the avocado, next the thin orange rounds. Top with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a confetti of cilantro. Eat immediately at room temp, or leave out the avocado until the last minute and eat this salad tomorrow.
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