Monday, February 8, 2010

A Winter Standard - Citrus Salad with Avocado and Micro-Greens

The farmers market is an embarrassment of riches right now. Blood Oranges, Pommelos, King Grapefruit, Cara Cara Oranges, Meyer Lemons and Mineolas. Orange, gold, green and yellow orbs of all different sizes, filled with juice, sweet and sour. It's the perfect time to make my favorite late winter salad, which happens to be as beautiful as it is adaptable.

My standard version has avocado layered in with the citrus, however, today when I slid my knife through an avocado I'd bought a few days earlier, I saw that it was too late for that poor sucker. It had already gone brown inside, and was a waste. Spoiled avocados are truly one of the great disappointment of life. I cursed myself for not having used it earlier, and pressed on with a scaled down version.

If I'd had some fennel handy, that would have been a good addition as well. Thinly sliced red onions, fresh mozzarella, I've even had a version with squid and frisee at my favorite restaurant, Pizzaiolo in Oakland. But still, my favorite is the citrus, avocado and micro-greens. The fresh tart taste is a welcome reprieve from the usual heavy winter meals.

Citrus Salad with Avocado and Micro-Greens

It seems silly to write out a recipe for this. Just by looking at the picture, you get the idea. For this one, I used one pommelo, one ruby red grapefruit, one cara cara orange and one blood orange.

The trick to slicing the citrus is to cut the top and the bottom of the fruit, and then slice the peel from the fruit, making sure to remove as much of the white pith as possible. Once the peel has been removed, slice the fruit into disks, about 1/2 of an inch thick. Layer the citrus onto a plate.

If I'd had a good avocado, I would have sliced half of that and layered it in with the citrus. I drizzled about a tablespoon of good olive oil and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar over the fruit, and sprinkled some sea salt over that. Finally, I tossed a few micro-greens on top. I got mine at the farmers market, but you can also find them at Trader Joe's.

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