Monday’s tapas dish with the caramelized carrots and North African spices was the inspiration for today’s lunch. I didn’t have the same sweet yellow carrots as Rendezvous, but mine were yellow at least, and I had plenty of pimenton and harissa — plus a secret ingredient, a home-mixed, Tunisian-like spice concoction of equal parts of salt, cumin, coriander, and caraway seed, with black pepper and hot pepper flakes to taste.
I cut the carrots into 1/8″ slabs lengthwise, dusted them with olive oil and the spices, and cooked them in a hot skillet until well-browned and beginning to soften. That was taking quite some time, so I added liquid in 1/4 cup increments, first water, then white wine (a Pigato), along with the harissa, so they braised a bit in the spicy blend.
In the meantime I cut off a piece of English cucumber, quartered it lengthwise, then into 3/4″ slice. Next, I peeled a ripe avocado and tossed both vegetables in a salty vinaigrette. After adding a large handful of fresh homemade sprouts, I mixed the vegetables together and topped with the cooked carrots — turning them some more to add the spicy layers of flavor and oil to the mild avocado-cucumber base.
Finally, the refrigerator provided the last piece of the puzzle for two slices of my Pain de Campagne bread taken from the freezer and toasted. These were topped with good vegan leftovers: (1) homemade fava bean purée and cashew cheese, and (2) Kalamata olive paste. Each was topped with a roasted red pepper slice [for both flavor and color]. Once again the wine was the remaining 2011 Sobremadre Malvar from Vinos Ambiz. The contrasting textures and flavors were superb.