When we weren't spending time in front of a screen, we cooked. Mangosteens, pineapple, and papaya from the Port Douglas market adorned our breakfast plates. For dinner, we had sauteed salted baby squash, pan-fried halloumi cheese, and sliced cucumbers.
In Port Douglas, we reworked the salad to add necessary crunch, with ingredients more easily found while traveling. The results were spectacular; the crisp red onion and charred carrot skin contrasted with the creamy avocado slices and soft carrot center. We wanted another day in Port Douglas to make this salad again. But, we were off for a week hiking and camping through the Outback.
Grilled Carrot and Avocado Salad
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen's Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad, inspired in turn by The Spotted Pig
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 people
1 pound carrots, scrubbed and peeled (or if the skins are thin, don't peel them)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or, frankly, use whatever spices you have on hand. I used a combination of crushed red pepper and parsley but Deb's original recipe calls for cumin.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 of a regular-sized ripe avocado, thinly sliced and pitted (Deb's recipe calls for 1/2 an avocado but we had a small avocado and used the whole thing)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat (or if you are using a grill at a hostel or a rental apartment, preheat the grill and then hope that the it cooks at an even temperature). Toss the carrots with a tablespoon of olive oil, plenty of salt and black pepper, and the red pepper or other spices.
2. Grill carrots until tender, about 30 minutes. If they blacken and char completely on the outside, don't worry --- they are perfectly fine and will be even better than if they just have grill marks on the outside. (By the by, this is the reason why this is the perfect meal for a traveler. It doesn't matter if you completely screw up the carrots because this salad will still be delicious.)
3. Once the carrots are tender, arrange them in a platter or a bowl with the avocado slices, and sprinikle the red onion throughout. Drizzle the salad with a tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, and extra salt and pepper if desired. Eat immediately and think of me in my kitchen-less state.