Poor carrots. They are truly an under appreciated vegetable.
There they sit in the veggie draw for weeks, always playing the supporting role; the base for soup, the delivery vehicle for dip, mixed into a carrot cake if they’re lucky (but you know the true star is the cream cheese frosting, anyway.) They are the plain-jane girl in every teen movie, sweet and lovely but not exciting enough to even be considered for a leading role.
Until now… This is the moment of transformation or the carrot. Just like Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries or Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, I’m giving the good old carrot a makeover and you will never be able to look at her the same way again. The secret? ROAST the carrot. The high heat brings out their natural sweetness. They’re delicious roasted with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Add some thyme and a purple onion while you’re at it.
This recipe for Roasted Rainbow Carrot Salad with Citrus Cumin Dressing from A Cozy Kitchen does a beautiful job of celebrating the roasted carrot. I altered the recipe ever-so-slightly but didn’t change much because, dang, it was pretty near perfect the way she developed it.
And now, it’s time to appreciate the lowly carrot…
Roasted Carrot and Cumin Salad
adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
serves 2 generously
1 pound carrots (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 avocado, cubed
2 ounces goat cheese, cubed
2 cups arugula
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet. Use 2 baking sheets if necessary, like a boyfriend or someone disarming a time bomb, THEY NEED ROOM! If they’re too close they will start to steam and it will be difficult to get that sweet caramelized roasted deliciousness you’re looking for. Roast for 15-20 minutes until starting to brown, stirring once.
Mince the shallot and place in a small mixing bowl. Juice the lemon and orange over the shallots. Whisk in the olive oil and add the cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the salad, lay the arugula in the bottom of a serving bowl or platter. Toss with just a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle carrots,goat cheese, and avocado on top. Drizzle on the dressing and serve.