Even without roasting them to bring our their inherent sweetness, carrots were always my favorite veggie growing up. And the thing is, when carrots they get all charred and caramelized I think they taste as sweet as a marshmallow—and maybe even better. This za'atar roasted carrot salad is super tasty because the sweetness of the carrots and onions is tamed by a zingy meyer lemon dressing. Add to that the creaminess of the avocado and yogurt, and the crunchiness from the pistachio nuts and you can see how my taste buds were in bliss mode. Zingy and zesty… creamy and smooth… and then pow… a little crunch. The salad is a riff on Brit chef Jamie Oliver's roasted carrot and avocado salad. see also the Moroccan roasted carrot salad I made last spring, which was inspired by him.
Here's how I made the salad. I massaged peeled Italian cipollini onions and peeled and halved carrots with some olive oil, sprinkled with za'atar spice, then roasted them on a sheet pan in a 400°oven for 35 minutes or so. Then I tossed the carrots with a dressing made from meyer lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mixed that with some filagreed frisee lettuce. I plopped a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt on plate, made a well in it with the back of a spoon, and added a spoonful more of more dressing into it. Then I cut a 1/4 of a peeled avocado and placed it on the plate, and sprinkled on more za'atar spice and sesame seeds on everything. You know how the best part of a salad is the last few bites? That was especially true of this salad. By the time these ingredients all got to know one another it was a creamy mélaaaaange.
Za'atar is a Middle-Eastern spice blend
that includes dried sumac, thyme, oregano
sesame seeds, salt, and another other spices.
Click to see the roasted carrot salad I made
last spring using pearl onions, avocado, pepitas,
feta cheese, and a zesty citrus dressing.