Spicy carrot, cucumber and avocado salad
Chef Gregory Gourdet
Departure Restaurant and Lounge
Chef Gourdet transforms panzanella, a bread salad usually served in summer, into a winter dish by using carrots and cucumbers in place of tomatoes. The carrots add bright color, while cubes of avocado provide a nice textural contrast and Thai chilies and ginger heat up the salad with Asian flavors.
2 lb. Japanese or pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced
5 oz. shallots, thinly sliced
¼ oz. Thai chilies, thinly sliced
2 oz. ginger, finely julienned
3 cups rice wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. salt
Carrot Bread Salad
4½ oz. sourdough bread, cut into cubes
Olive oil, as needed
2 lb. baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
3 avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
½ oz. cilantro leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
Toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish
- For cucumber salad, combine all ingredients in large bowl, mixing well to dissolve sugar. Transfer to a small container; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss sourdough bread cubes with a tablespoon of olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Spread cubes on baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until crisp and light brown; set aside to cool.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Blanch carrots in boiling water 4 to 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain carrots and place in bowl of ice water.
- Drain cucumber salad, reserving some of liquid. Drain carrots and mix with cucumber salad in large bowl; add some of cucumber salad liquid to moisten.
- Add diced avocado, toasted bread cubes, cilantro, sea salt and about ¼ cup olive oil; mix gently. Add more salt or olive oil as needed.
- To serve, divide salad among 6 bowls. Drizzle each with a little more olive oil; sprinkle with sesame seeds.