When I moved into my new house in June 2011, I was very happy to have all the mature trees, rose garden and an established lawn. The back yard had two big palm trees and two smaller green leafed trees which provided really nice shade. Well, I was busy moving in and unpacking, then working and blogging and I didn’t go in the back yard at all, until a couple of months later. And lo and behold, one of the small trees had little green citrus fruits of some kind all over it. A couple of months after that it was covered with hundreds of huge oranges. So many, we didn’t know what to do with them. You guys with all the zucchini have nothing on us, believe me.
I have never had any kind of fruit tree in my yard anywhere I’ve lived, so this is such a revelation. If I want an orange, I walk 20 feet and pick one. We even found an orange picker on a pole in the garage, so we could get the ones on the top. So we have been eating a lot of oranges and I have had to get creative to use them up. That is where this recipe came from. Desperation. To use up the oranges. And now that there are only a few oranges left on the tree, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of new little ones about the size of a walnut busily growing bigger. And bigger. It’s a good thing they are seedless, brightly sweet-tart, juicy and really delicious.
While I was shooting this salad, my 24-year old son, Brian, came in and asked what smelled so good. Orange salad, I answered. He came over and inspected my photo setup. Oh, that’s really beautiful, he said. He wandered into the kitchen and discovered the bowl with the remainder of the salsa. He grabbed a spoon and took a big bite. Oh my god, this is delicious!!, he exclaimed. Can I have the rest of this? I’m eating this, he proclaimed, whether you like it or not. And waltzed off with the bowl.
Well, maybe it won’t be so hard to use up all those oranges after all.
Orange Salad with Avocado, Green Olive & Orange Salsa
Serves 1 as an entrée or 2 as a starter
2 large oranges
1 small avocado, ½-inch dice
5 large green olives with pimento, chopped
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Poupon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Reserve.
2. Remove peel from oranges with a large sharp knife. Slice oranges into ½-inch slices.
3. Cut rounded end pieces of orange into ½-inch dice and place in a large bowl along with the diced avocado, chopped green olives and parsley leaves.
4. Pour enough of the reserved vinaigrette over salsa ingredients to thoroughly moisten.
5. Layer orange slices on serving plates and place salsa over or next to oranges. Drizzle orange slices and salsa with remaining vinaigrette. Lightly dust orange slices with kosher salt and black pepper if desired. Serve.