Citrus and Avocado Salad

Modified from Food and Wine

With this recipe, I have achieved something that I never have before – getting Mr. “He Cleans” to enjoy avocado.  He is repulsed by every form of guacamole, from homemade to that prepared table-side by flamboyant Spanish-speaking servers in the heart of New Mexico.  Neither does he appreciate the rich, velvety creaminess of the avocado slices bathed in Massaman curry from our favorite Thai restaurant.  Not being one to easily resign myself to failure, I decided to try to sway his opinion with this tangy salad with honey dressing, promising that I would pick out the pieces of avocado if he did not like it.  He approached the salad with an open mind, and although I could see some skepticism as he was taking the first bite, he bravely dug in.  When he lifted his eyebrow instead of wrinkling his face, I knew we had a winner.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as an entree):

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Satsuma oranges, or other variety of seedless mandarin orange/clementine
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • bunch of red leaf lettuce, washed, torn and spun dry
  • 3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds or toasted nuts (e.g. pine nuts, walnuts)
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, oil, sour cream and vinegar.  If you like your dressing more creamy (as I do), add a tablespoon of mayonnaise.  (Note:  for dairy-free dressing, use mayonnaise in place of sour cream.)  Stir in the poppy seeds; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Peel the Satsuma oranges, removing as much of the white pith as possible.  Separate the slices and place them in a salad bowl.

Slice the avocados in half around the pit, lengthwise, then twist the halves to separate.  Remove the pit by first placing the avocado on a flat surface (not in your hand) then firmly swing a knife blade into the pit with enough force that the knife is lodged there, but doesn’t cut through it.   Twist gently to pop the pit out.  (Dislodge the pit from the knife using a glancing blow to the side of the sink – don’t use your hand!) With the avocado still in the skin, cut crosshatches in the flesh, then use a spoon inserted between the flesh and the skin to remove the diced avocado. Place the avocado in the salad bowl with the orange segments.

Add desired amount of lettuce, then toss gently.  Add goat cheese (if using) and nuts or seeds; lightly dress with the honey vinaigrette, and toss again.  Serve immediately.

Old dogs and new tricks it is! First up is 70 year old saxophonist Charles Lloyd, with Athens Concert. Lloyd, with Greek national treasure vocalist Maria Farantouri, creates a passionate and warm concert in Athens. No matter if you speak the language or not, its moving either way.

The CTI label was one of jazzes bright spots in the ’70s, and CTI Records – The Cool Revolution will bring back some memories. Jobim, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine and more are highlighted in the 4 cd collection. Groovy stuff!


9 thoughts on “Citrus and Avocado Salad

  1. This salad looks like just the ticket to get past the meats and sweets heavy holidays. Will have to try it out/ Thanks for sharing!

  2. Two of my favorite ingredients, well three – orange, honey and avocado. Love the addition of pumpkin seeds. Glad to see you turned his thinking around. Congrats!

  3. I love avocado, and every other ingredient here. This sounds so good, and I’m so glad to see a dish here without any onion, garlic, or bell pepper, the three things I won’t touch.

    Given how many different herbs and spices exist (as seen at DeKalb Farmers Market), it is inexcusable that so many Americans think, “well, if you don’t put onion in something it has no taste”. Fools.

  4. i’m starting to get really into avocados since we moved out to california! been meaning to cook a lot more since we’re out here. subscribing. 🙂

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