Spicy Carrot, Cucumber and Fresh California Avocado Salad
4½ oz. sourdough bread, cubed
Olive oil, as needed
Salt, as needed
2 lbs. baby carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise
Cucumber Salad (recipe follows)
3 fresh California avocados, peeled, seeded, diced
½ oz. cilantro leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 t. sea salt
Toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish
2 lbs. Japanese or pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced
5 oz. shallots, thinly sliced
¼ oz. Thai chili, thinly sliced
2 oz. ginger, finely julienned
3 cups rice wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 T. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss sourdough bread cubes with 1 T. olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Spread on baking sheet; bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp and light-brown. Cool.
2. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Blanch carrots for 4-5 minutes until crisp tender. Drain carrots; place in bowl of ice water.
3. Drain cucumber salad, reserving some liquid. Drain carrots; mix with cucumber salad in large bowl with some cucumber salad liquid. Add diced avocado, sourdough croutons, cilantro leaves, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Mix gently. Add more salt or olive oil as needed, to taste.
4. Divide salad among six bowls (2½ cups per bowl). Drizzle each with a little more olive oil; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For cucumber salad:
In large bowl, combine cucumber, shallot, chili, ginger, vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well to dissolve sugar. Transfer to smaller container. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Published with permission from the American Culinary Federation and Gregory Gourdet, Chef, Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland, Oregon
The National Culinary Review, October 2015