The flavors in the Spicy Roasted Carrot, Goat Cheese & Avocado Salad are bold but the textures are luscious. Making this salad an intriguing mouthful.
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1 tablespoon for the boiling water
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 orange, zested and then cut in half
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon taragon flavored vinegar
- raw mustard greens (or other bitter green)
- 4 ounce goat cheese, softened and crumbled
- 2 tablespoon milk or cream (optional)
- 1 small bunch of watercress, washed and trimmed of thick stems
- 2 thick slices of toasted rustic bread, cut into 1‑inch cubes
- ½ pound carrots, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
- 1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small pan set over medium heat toast the seeds until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes. Divide the seeds in half and set aside separately.
Using a mortar and pestle crush ½ of the toasted seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt until the seeds are well pulverized. Add the minced garlic, orange zest and the olive oil. Continue to work the mixture into a well incorporated, but slightly chunky, paste.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add about 1‑tablespoon salt and the halved carrots. Boil the carrots until barely cooked about 7 minutes. Drain them in a colander and transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the spice paste on top of the carrots while still hot; tossing to get the carrots well coated. Place the zested orange halves onto the baking sheet cut side up. Roast them all in the oven until the carrots are browned and fully cooked, about 25 minutes.
In the mean time, peel and slice the avocados; tossing them in the vinegar until ready to serve the salad.
Blend the goat cheese and milk or cream in a small bowl until creamy, thick and well blended. Set aside until ready to serve. This step is optional; you may choose to simply crumble the cheese on top.
To serve, spread the greens across a serving platter. Top them with the hot carrots and cool avocado slices, mounding (or sprinkling) the goat cheese and the watercress on top. Followed by the toasted bread cubes. Squeeze the juice of the roasted oranges over the salad, discarding the rinds. Sprinkle the remaining toasted seeds on top and serve warm.