Carrot-Harissa Toast

A vegan toast from Avant Garden uses carrots 3 ways
51 Ratings
100% would make again
Carrot Toast
Photo: Katie Foster/Tasting Table

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When we visited Avant Garden in NYC recently, we were amazed with what Ravi DeRossi and Alex Aparicio are doing with vegan cuisine. Bright, flavorful dishes fill the menu, but our favorite was this carrot-harissa toast. A smoky carrot purée is topped by citrusy cubes of rainbow carrots, pickled carrots, whipped tofu and carrot-top leaves, making this dish a complete ode to carrot.

Though there are several components, the recipe is actually quite simple. Feel free to make the elements ahead and assemble on freshly toasted sourdough. You can use the toaster to make the toast for this recipe, but we prefer doing it on the stovetop. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the bread and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

To learn more, read "Vedge of Tomorrow."

Carrot-Harissa Toast

Recipe from Alex Aparicio, Avant Garden, New York, NY

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time


For the Pickled Carrots:

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 small purple carrots, thinly sliced into rounds

For the Carrot Salad:

1 teaspoon coriander, toasted

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, toasted

¼ teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

8 ounces (4 medium) tricolor carrots, peeled and small dice

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon blue agave

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green apple—peeled, cored and small dice

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Carrot-Harissa Spread:

Kosher salt, to taste

12 ounces (3 large) carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon harissa

For the Whipped Tofu:

7 ounces (½ block) firm tofu

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

For Assembly:

4 slices sourdough bread, toasted

Carrot-top leaves, for garnish


1. Make the pickled carrots: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Place the carrots in a heatproof bowl and cover with the pickling liquid. Let cool completely and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, make the carrot salad: In a spice grinder, combine the toasted coriander, fennel seeds, peppercorns, caraway seeds and cumin seeds. Grind into a fine powder, then transfer to a small saucepan along with the carrots, orange juice and agave. Cook over medium-high heat until the carrots are tender and the juice has reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, then let cool completely. Once cool, stir in the olive oil and apple until incorporated. Season with salt, then set aside.

3. Make the carrot-harissa spread: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and transfer to a blender with the olive oil, lemon juice and harissa. Purée until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

4. Make the whipped tofu: In a clean blender, combine all the whipped tofu ingredients and purée until smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or small piping bag.

5. Assemble the toast: Spread ¼ cup of the carrot spread onto each piece of toast, then, using a slotted spoon, top with ¼ cup of the carrot salad. Pipe dots of the whipped tofu around the toast, then garnish with the pickled carrots and carrot-top leaves. Slice in half crosswise, then serve.

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