Just a few paragraphs in, Thurman tosses in an idea for a festive, clean dish that offsets rich foods and includes, the secret ingredient: pine nuts. If I tell you that I sat bolt upright, tore the page out of the magazine, got out of bed and tacked it to the grocery list in my kitchen, I would not be lying -- the recipe sounded that simple, that pretty and that good. Returning to bed, I quickly drifted back to sleep, peacefully dreaming about pine nuts - best dream I ever had; well almost, but that's a different blog. Anyway... here's the recipe. Along with blood oranges (I used naval, because that's all I could find on short notice) and avocado, the salad is topped with Spanish onions sliced paper thin. Thurman offers that should dinners be wary of the aftertaste of raw onions, a small bowl of fennel seeds can be served alongside as a chaser. Finally, she suggests a light vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar, but I made up my own. The salad recipe, however, is hers in entirety.
So, if you want to impress you family and friends this Holiday Season, consider this gorgeous salad that takes no time to make and is a refreshing departure from typical green salads, or God forbid, ambrosia. Lastly, here's a little avocado trick I read about (I have no idea where). To prevent discoloration: quickly run the cut avocado under cold running water - for some reason (magic?), this stops the fruit from browning.
Tonight, since I'm kind of tired (but well read), my husband and I plan to have this salad with a warm baguette, some good stinky cheese and lots of wine. Done and done. Happy Holidays!
Avocados, sliced oranges and super thinly sliced onions make the salad
The original recipe calls for blood oranges, which would look even better if you can get them
Use fresh, Spanish onions for the best flavor
Should you fear "onion breath", a few anise seeds lend a fresh taste and scent
A light vinaigrette works best - a little coarsely ground mustard
Half a fresh squeezed lime (really compliments the cilantro topping)
Use white wine or white balsamic vinegar for a clean, light vinaigrette
Top salad with onions, finely chopped cilantro and pine nuts - easy, right?
Blood Orange and Avocado Salad with Cilantro and Pine Nuts
(Salad Recipe Courtesy of Judith Thurman, The New Yorker Food Issue, November, 2011)
2 blood oranges (naval are okay), thinly sliced
1 small Spanish onion, sliced paper thin
1 ripe but still firm avocado, sliced
1 bunch baby arugula
finely chopped cilantro
Carefully peel and thinly slice two blood or naval oranges, a small Spanish onion, and the avocado. Alternate orange and avocado slices on a shallow bed of baby arugula. Strew the onion slices on top, then sprinkle with some finely chopped cilantro and pine nuts.
Vinaigrette (Recipe, Courtesy of Me)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbsp. white Modena balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. coarse brown mustard
pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 fresh squeezed lime
Correct seasoning and oil:vinegar ratio to your liking. Whisk all ingredients together, drizzle over salad and serve.
© 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved