This summer I was invited to join a group called "Ladies Salon" which actually has nothing to do with hairdressers, but is in fact "a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase knowledge of participants through conversation." I call it book club without the hassle of reading books.
The ladies in this group are a classy bunch: mostly vegetarian, partly gluten-free, and totally interesting. Most have gardens and bring very fresh salads or dishes to the potluck. Last week, Jess brought a roasted carrot and avocado salad that was hands down the best dish of the night (even though my gazpacho garnered some praise as well). When I googled it, of course Smitten Kitchen had a great recipe (which was, I'm sure, the inspiration for Jess's dish).
I liked it so much I made it last night, but modified for the grill. It was a piece of cake to cook, and just as great, or better, than I remembered! I bought a beautiful bunch of neon orange mini carrots at the Farmer's Market yesterday. They were about 4 inches long each, and no thicker than an inch. I scrubbed them up (no need to peel these little babies!) and cut them at a sharp angle before grilling in a grill basket with olive oil, salt, and pepper. After about 30 minutes over indirect heat, the carrots were soft all the way through and nice and charred. I tossed them with some chives, juice of half a lemon, and half an avocado.
I served these lemony carrot coins with some cedar plank grilled salmon and a stunningly beautiful heirloom caprese salad. It was a great and colorful dinner!
Grilled Carrots with Avocado, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 bunch small, fresh carrots - well scrubbed and cut at an angle
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp chives
Juice of half a lemon
half an avocado, diced
Heat your charcoal grill until all coals are coated in white ash. Move all coals to one side of the grill and place your grill basket on the other side to cook with indirect heat. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put in grill basket. Cover grill. Stir every 10 minutes or so and they should be soft through after about 30 minutes.
Remove carrots from grill and toss with avocado, lemon juice, and chives. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
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