Allow me to tell you a little about one of my latest kitchen additions. A ceramic mortar and pestle. He’s a tiny one, but he’s got attitude when it comes to squashing herbs and spices. I am positively addicted to this little guy!

DSC01880The mash up top started with cumin seeds, whole red chillies, gray sea salt and black pepper. Garlic cloves and thyme in next. Once a rough paste comes together, olive oil and white wine vinegar are muddled in, creating a ridiculous combination of flavors to kick up a great salad.

Jamie Oliver’s Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad with Orange and [Lime] Dressing has been a favorite of mine for a couple years now. This is no wuss – it’s a brilliant and really unusual salad. The spice paste, the sweet and savory carrot and avocado, the roasted citrus dressing, the crunchy toasted seeds [cumin and sesame] on top… With the addition of warmed homemade flatbread creamy yogurt and balsamic-orange shrimp, it really gets your tastebuds going.

DSC01884I’ve made the salad in this manner, as well as how Jamie presents it with the torn toasted ciabatta bits and sour cream – both are lovely. Either would be an interesting addition to a Labor Day feast.

Happy weekending!