This recipe is from Serious Eats' new cookbook, courtesy of ABC Kitchen in New York City. We loved the technique of roasting some of the citrus before adding it to the tart-sweet dressing, and the smattering of crunchy sunflower and sesame seeds against a backdrop of sweet, yielding carrot and silky avocado makes for a textural combination that keeps you coming back for another bite. —Merrill Stubbs
small carrots (3 to 4 inches, ½ inch thick), or large carrots quartered and cut into 3-inch segments, peeled (about 4 cups)
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Season with salt, set over high heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and transfer them to a medium bowl.
Cut the orange and lemon in half and juice half of each one, reserving the juice and the unjuiced halves, and discarding the juiced halves. Combine the cumin, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of the orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Season the marinade to taste with salt and pepper. Add the marinade and the unjuiced citrus halves to the carrots and toss to combine. Spread the carrots and citrus halves on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the carrots are slightly shriveled with a few brown spots, about 20 minutes. Allow the carrots to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile squeeze the juice from the roasted citrus halves into a small bowl. Add the remaining fresh orange juice, lemon juice, remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, and the sugar. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
Divide the carrots and avocado slices onto four plates. Divide the greens among the plates on top of the carrots and avocado. Add a tablespoon of crème fraiche to each salad. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and sesame seeds over each plate.
Drizzle several tablespoons of dressing over and around each salad (reserve any remaining dressing for another use), and serve immediately.