Back in my working days, I was sometimes lucky enough to have lunch at ABC Kitchen, a restaurant just north of Union Square in New York. Though it’s not a vegan restaurant, ABC Kitchen features some of the best vegetable dishes I’ve had. My favorite was always the restaurant’s roast carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus. This roasted carrot and avocado salad is my vegan tribute.
Last week, before I headed home for the holiday, I had quite a few carrots to use up in the fridge. I usually gnaw on carrots as snacks, shred them into salads, or chop them up into soups, so roasting sounded like a very welcome change of pace. As I soon as they were growing soft and fragrant in the oven, the idea for this salad came to mind, and I’m so glad it did.
The ABC kitchen salad calls for a crunchy seed and sour cream topping. I opted for a sprinkle of brown lentils instead, in part because I had some of those to use up, too, and in part for a little extra heartiness. Some cashew cheese (my basic recipe is featured in this post) would make a very wonderful addition to this dish!
This salad, naturally, is easy to customize. I think that walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds would all make a nice addition. And any other legume you like would be great, too — I’m eager to try the dish with toasted chickpeas! But for now, I so love the way spicy arugula contrasts with sweet carrots, chewy lentils, and creamy avocado.
I often tell clients that an ideal salad contains protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. While it’s silly to get overly hung up on this, or treat it as a “rule,” it’s just a helpful guiding principle to keep in mind. This particular salad is a nice example of that principle in action–some fat, some complex carbs, some protein, and plenty of flavor. Along with a cup of soup on a chilly afternoon, it’s a perfect winter lunch.
I hope you enjoy it, too.