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Spicy carrot, cucumber and avocado salad

Serves6
Menu PartSalad
Cuisine TypeAsian
Spicy Carrot, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

Chef Gregory Gourdet
Departure Restaurant and Lounge
Portland, Ore.

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.

Ingredients

Cucumber Salad

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

Steps

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. To serve, divide salad among 6 bowls. Drizzle each with a little more olive oil; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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