Two of my good Daring Baker buddies' Lisa at La Mia Cucina and Kelly at Sass and Veracity embarked on a Salad Stravaganza quest recently to obtain salad recipes that would save their thighs and keep them inspired at the same time. This is a big departure from our usual quadruple-bypass recipes, and it being summer, a welcome one. I was finding it hard to choose because I wanted something better than the "would you like some more leaves?" offerings, and as a non-meat eater this can often be my lunch option in a cafe, with some goats cheese and the odd sun-dried tomato on top for extra sustenance. When I came across this recipe for a spiced orange and avocado salad it promised to do wonders for the thighs of the world if I chose it, how could I refuse.
I admit I have never tasted anything quite like this before, guacamole is the extent of my experience with avocado and though I know citrus fruits and spices match well with it, my first bite was a tentative one to see if it was going to work out. The soft buttery avocado, the sharp citrus tang and the subtle warm spices are a beautiful thing. The cardamom is the most dominant of the spices but still remains in the background and the peppery rocket just pulls it all together. I quartered the recipe below but devoured it in two minutes flat and stared at the plate willing it to be full again. This is a keeper for this summer, my own thighs feel more virtuous already, I now pass it on to Lisa and Kelly...
This recipe comes from the 30 Minute Vegetarian
SPICED ORANGE & AVOCADO SALAD
- 4 large juicy oranges
- 2 small ripe avocados, stoned and peeled
- 2 tsps cardamom pods
- 3 tbls light olive oil
- 1 tbls clear honey
- good pinch of ground allspice
- 2 tsps lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- few handfuls rocket (arugula) or watercress, to garnish
- Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each orange to help hold it steady as you peel it. Using a sharp knife and following the curve of the fruit, slice off the skin and the white membrane underneath. Over a bowl ,to catch the juice, cut between the membranes to segment the oranges. Put all the segments in the bowl.
- Slice the avocados and toss gently with the orange segments, the juice will help prevent the avocado from browning. Pile onto serving plates.
- Reserve a few whole cardamom pods for decoration. Crush the remaining pods using a pestle and mortar to extract the seeds, or use a small bowl and the end of a rolling pin. Pick out and discard the pods. Mix the seeds with the oil, honey, allspice, lemon juice, salt & pepper and reserved orange juice.
- Garnish the salads with rocket (arugula) or watercress and spoon the dressing over the top. Serve.