Carrot, Avocado, and Orange Salad

January 28, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is my Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon salad. The two main ingredients—carrot and avocado—might not seem compatible or connected, but your first bite will convince you otherwise. The carrots are roasted with cumin and paired with orange, both classic pairings for the vegetable. The citrus goes great with cilantro, and both are a fine match for avocado. Before you know it, you have this fresh, vibrant salad. I love the carrots roasted to the same creamy softness of avocado. The contrast comes not from the texture but from the fact that one’s warm from the oven and the other’s cool from the fridge. Sorry if I got your hopes up, but despite the salad’s nickname, there’s no bacon. —A Girl and Her Pig

What You'll Need
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 pinch Maldon or another flaky sea salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon to to 1 1/2 crumbled dried pequin chilies or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 or so similarly sized (each about the size of your pointer finger) young carrots, unpeeled, ½ inch of the green tops left on
  • 3 tennis ball-sized oranges
  • 3 ripe Hass avocados, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 handful small, delicate cilantro sprigs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Pound the garlic with a healthy pinch of salt in a mortar until you have a wet, fairly smooth paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, chopping and mashing and chopping and mashing until you’re satisfied.) Put the paste in a large mixing bowl. Add the cumin, coriander, chilies, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil and stir well, then add the carrots and toss well so they’re coated with the oil and spices. Sprinkle on 3 healthy pinches of salt, crushing the grains with your fingers as you add them, and toss again.
  3. Put the carrots in a large shallow baking dish in one layer. Scrape out the extra garlic, spices, and oil from the bowl and spread evenly on top of the carrots. Pour ¼ cup water into an empty spot in the casserole (you don’t want to wash off the tasty oily stuff) and tilt the dish so the water spreads across the bottom.
  4. Cover the dish tightly with foil and put it in the oven. Cook the carrots for 25 minutes. Take off the foil and keep cooking until the carrots are lightly browned, and about as tender and creamy as avocado flesh, but not so soft that they threaten to fall apart, about 35 minutes more.
  5. While the carrots are roasting, segment the orange as you would a lemon. Squeeze the membranes into a small bowl to re­lease the juice. Set it aside.
  6. When the carrots are done, take the dish out of the oven and let it sit until the carrots have cooled a bit but are still warm.
  7. Meanwhile, take the avocados from the fridge. Halve them lengthwise, re­move the pits, and peel the halves. Cut the flesh lengthwise into slices about the same size as the carrots -- the slices should be sturdy enough that they don’t break up when you toss them.
  8. Put the avocado slices in a large mixing bowl and add the reserved orange juice, the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a healthy pinch or two of salt. Toss gently and well with your hands. Push the avocado to one side of the bowl. Add the carrots a handful at a time, scraping and tossing them in the beautiful green liquid in the bowl before adding the next handful. Make sure to scrape out and add all the garlicky spices left in the baking dish. Toss it all together gently, being careful not to break the avocado slices.
  9. Stack the carrots, avocado, and orange segments on a platter or in a serving bowl so they’re facing this way and that. Top with the cilantro and serve right away.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • krikri
  • Linda Melazzo
    Linda Melazzo
  • ChefJune

9 Reviews

AntoniaJames January 2, 2018
Excellent recipe, perfect with winter stews and roasts. For three, I used 2 medium-large oranges, a farmers' market bunch (8 or 9) carrots that were a bit larger than the recipe calls for, and 1 large-ish avocado. We could have served four with what I made.
Toasting and then crushing the spices with a mortar and pestle, and then scraping all those roasted spice bits onto the salad at the end are worth the extra effort. In the words of the late great Judy Rodgers, "Try this." ;o)
ndalpe April 29, 2015
On behalf of my taste buds, I would like to say that this recipe is yummier with mandarin than orange - personal taste here.

Would it be right to say that the coriander seeds is the flavor that binds the carrot, avocado and citrus together?

krikri April 13, 2015
Made this (with regular carrots instead of young carrots, cut more or less to size) and it was delicious!
I'm curious about this however:
"segment the orange as you would a lemon"
Does this mean, as I would a clementine/mandarin/tangerine? I have never segmented a lemon - have any of you? Why?
Linda M. February 7, 2014
added walnuts and feta...and there is another ingredient top left center..not a carrot..center has seeds...???
Richard February 7, 2014
Front centre, left centre - are they carrots as suggested above? Seem to have too much stalk. They are not 'pointer finger' sized as recipe states.
dunham February 6, 2014
This is almost identical to a salad that Jamie Oliver made years ago on Jamie at Home.


He uses different greens, just the juice from the citrus, and adds a dollop of yogurt. I've been doing the carrots by themselves for my 15 mo old son. It's currently one of his favorite foods. (I add some orange/clementine juice in the dressing of the carrot and substitute Aleppo pepper.)

I'm curious where this came from. Did one of these chefs get it from the other, is it based on a River Café recipe (they're both alumni of River Café), or is derived from some older, traditional recipe?

Richard - that other ingredient probably is a stubby, halved purple carrot.
ChefJune February 6, 2014
I'll be making this this weekend! (Only I'll be subbing flat leaf parsley for the dreaded cilantro...
Richard February 6, 2014
There seems to be another, halved, ingredient in the photograph?
Helens February 7, 2014
I can't spy it. Where are you looking?