carrot and avocado salad

Puh-puh-puh pretty.

Carrot and Avocado Salad

Is there anything more exciting than colorful carrots? Yes, of course. Lots of things. Like the 5 cent wine sale at BevMo, a week of warm weather in San Francisco and income tax returns. But if you’re making a dish with carrots and you have the option of buying ones that look like tie dyed t-shirts, then by all means, do it, dude!

I’ve been drinking a lot of this 21st Amendment beer lately. Something about the cans, which are $1.25 a piece at the grocery. Sometimes you don’t want a whole six pack. Sometimes, you’re trying to keep an eye on expenses, and buying drinkable beer in bulk runs about $10 – $12 ’round these parts, so sometimes it’s nice to just throw a couple cans in the basket and be done with it.

I found a recipe on the internet for carrots braised in beer around the same time I was turned on to this recipe at smitten kitchen so I combined the two of them and braised the carrots, then decided I actually wanted burnt and crusty rather than tender and buttery so I roasted them too.

The booze: beer

The other stuff: carrots, avocado, cumin seeds, carrot juice (optional), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

The directions: Scrub carrots and cut into inch segments, halve the larger segments, and throw into a skillet with 1 cup of beer and 1/2 cup of carrot juice over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and cover. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes till liquid is reduced by half. During this time, change your mind about wanting braised carrots and decide you want to roast them instead. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Dump braised carrots, including liquid onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cumin seeds (or ground cumin) and roast for 15 minutes, or until nice and dark and crispy looking.

Meanwhile, slice your avocado, spread out on a plate. Add roasted/braised carrots. Drizzle with olive oil, extra salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

The tips: Not all things you cook con booze will taste like booze, especially if you burn off all the alcohol by boiling and then roasting your food. In a different recipe I might recommend getting the delicious beer flavor back in the mix by adding a little tipple to top off the finished product. This works well in soups or pastas – but not really with a salad. So all you can do with this one is pour yourself a glass of something to drink along side your dinner. And it really is a nice, fresh, colorful and hearty meal. Perfect for summer days – days which are fast approaching! We had a taste of them  two weeks ago. Now it’s back to semi-freezing.


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