Avocado’s rich, nutty taste and creamy texture pairs beautifully with the sweet-sour perkiness of oranges. The fruit duo is especially appealing in a simple salad along with tender lettuce, fresh lemon juice and crunchy almonds.
Most often avocados are found firm-to-the-touch in the marketplace; they only ripen off the tree. If they are hard when you buy them, they will require 2 to 6 days of ripening at room temperature. Once they yield slightly to gentle pressure they are good for slicing and dicing.
At this point they can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Never buy an avocado that leaves a large dent when pressed; more than likely the flesh will be discolored.
Orange and Avocado Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 small head red leaf lettuce or butter lettuce
3 Navel oranges, peeled, sliced
2 ripe (but not squishy) avocados, sliced
1/8 medium red onion, thinly sliced top to bottom
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Garnish: toasted slivered almonds or Marcona almonds
Optional garnish: pitted green olives
Cook’s notes: To toast slivered almonds, place on rimmed baking sheet in single layer. Toast in 350-degree oven until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully because nuts burn easily. Cool.
1. Arrange lettuce on small platter. Top with orange slices, avocado slices and red onion slices.
2. In a small bowl, mix any collected orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Drizzle over salad. Garnish with nuts and if you wish, a few pitted green olives. Serve.