Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not My Mom’s Avocado and Orange Salad

This is a recipe from Andrew Carmellini, the chef and owner of Locanda Verde in Manhattan, called Mom's Florida Avocado and Orange Salad recipe. Clearly my Korean mother would never have come up with this concoction. I wonder if she's ever even tried an avocado. I'll have to ask her next time I talk to her. =)

One of the things I really miss about living in LA is the plethora of grocery stores, farmers markets and ethnic markets. Even though I love my neighborhood Dominick's and relish my weekly trips to Trader Joe's, grocery shopping here is just not the same. I miss the fresh fruits and veggies that are available in LA all year round. I think I used to have at least 5 different types of fruit in my fridge at all times when I lived in LA. The only things that are not over the top expensive, still tasty and thus, in heavy rotation at our place these days are oranges, bananas and avocados (yes, an avocado is a fruit). I've been making tons of guacamole lately and was tempted to make yet another batch, but I happened to stumble upon this recipe for an avocado and orange salad and leaped for joy because I happened to have all the ingredients at home. Isn't it the best when that happens?

Not My Mom's Avocado and Orange Salad
adapted from Andrew Carmellini

3 Valencia or navel oranges
1 Haas avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 scant tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Handful of cilantro leaves

1. Segment the oranges by slicing off the ends with a sharp knife. Put the orange on one end and, with a small, sharp knife, cut around the fruit, slicing off the peel and white pith.

2. Segment the orange by slicing between the membranes. Remove the segments and drop into a bowl. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining membranes into the bowl with the segments. Reserve the juice.

3. Slice the avocado in half and twist off the halves. With a knife, cut each halved avocado half lengthwise into segments, cutting through the meat. The original recipe said to cut around the avocado meat and push the pieces out of the skin with the knife. I tried that and it was more trouble than it's worth.

Personally I think it's easier to either peel the avocado skin off entirely and then cut into slices or cut into slices and scoop out the whole thing with a spoon. Whichever method you decide to employ, place the sliced avocado into the bowl with the oranges.

4. Add the lemon juice, red onion, oregano, olive oil, salt, hot sauce and the reserved orange juice. Using a large spoon, mix all the ingredients together so that everything is coated and well combined.

5. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve as an appetizer or antipasto.

Who knew oranges and avocados complimented each other so well? The sweetness of the oranges highlights the creamy, richness of the avocado and olive oil and the red onions provide the perfect crunch and spice to the whole salad. This would be such a great side dish with grilled fish. Wouldn't that be so good on a warm summer night?

Just remember folks, when your supermarket gives you only avocados and oranges, make this salad!


  1. very witty sue... "when your supermarket gives you avocados....hehehe"

    there's no farmers market in chicago??

    those red onions though really create some stinky breath .....

  2. haha, thanks =) We do have farmers markets, but they start later in the summer and run till sometime in the fall. So I'll definitely have to check it out when the weather gets nicer.

    Yes, I know what you mean about the onion breath. Next time I'd add less onions or cut them super thin. I think I thought red onions weren't as pungent, but no, they are, so use in moderation.

    Did everyone like the cookies?