It’s no secret I like to eat. It would be abnormal—in my humble opinion—to have a food blog and not enjoy the feasting it’s bounty produces. I stand firmly in the make and munch camp.
While I do consider myself a semi-foodie, I’m not really a whole foodie. I’m not hard core about eating 100% organic or avoiding sugar in my diet and I’m too lazy a.k.a. scatterbrained to ponder the possibilities of signing up for a CSA because then I wouldn’t have to run to the grocery store 4 times a day.
And for heaven’s sake don’t even ask me to think of giving up chocolate or cheese.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of eating fresh foods depending upon the season. In fact, I’d say that’s just exactly how my foodie tidal cravings swing.
As a former creative director for a health and fitness magazine, over the years I learned ALOT about food and nutrition. Heck, I even put a girl in a swimming pool full of oranges just to show “creatively” that vitamin C is so important for skin care. Instead of shooting just a regular old orange. Because that would be easy. Back before digital cameras were even used professionally, when we still shot film. And polaroids. So you could save them for years and hang then on the inside of your office cupboards for a walk down memory lane.
Oh wait, am I the only one that does that?
Oh, how my prop stylist hated me when she had to transport 100 cases of oranges to the pool and then get them all out afterward. And the model who put on a brave face in January in an unheated pool in un-sunny Encino, CA.
But doesn’t that model look just like Bridget from Bake at 350? I bet Bridget would have been smiling too, because she’s always smiling.
My friend Becky is the real deal seasonal eater. She does things simply, she buys and supports all things local and I’m sure her CSA is always used to maximum efficiency to complement her whole foods cravings.
Each month Becky encourages her readers to also eat seasonally, and even creates a downloadable seasonal produce guide that is downright inspiring. You really should get March’s produce guide, right here.
Recently she asked a few other bloggers to join her in encouraging their readers to #eatseasonal. (You can follow the #eatseasonal hashtag on Twitter and Instagram where the goal is for all of us to share.) I’m pleased as punch to share a seasonal recipe with this group every second week of the month starting with this Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad. And I’m not the only one. You can too.
I didn’t even realize just how seasonal this recipe is until I started writing this post. I mean, I know citrus and avocados are smack dab on the cusp of winter meets spring, but shallots too? Becky says so, so it must be true. Heck if radishes and leeks are March friendly, I’m going to throw out an olive branch and say fennel is too. But what will Becky think?
About the recipe:
Sunkist recently sent me a box of citrus which put a kickstart to this recipe. Now, I’ve made renditions of this recipe plenty of times in the past, but never with this many different styles of antioxidant-filled, Vitamin C-packed, oranges. I love the variety of shapes and colors the variety adds and encourage you to try a few different varietals for yourself.
Fennel is unique. It’s not your average veggie medley and isn’t often seen on the American dinner table. Maybe I should start a petition because that needs to change. Who’s with me? The secret to enjoying this lightly licorice flavored veggie in the raw is to slice it really, really thinly. Like, sliver thin.
The best way to get sliver thin veggies is with my favorite kitchen tool. Get one, it will change your kitchen forever.
Shallots need to be sliver thin, too. Or if onions are too strong for you, chop about 1 tablespoon finely and add to the salad dressing for a lighter onion flavor.
I almost added arugula to this recipe. And then I thought that butter lettuce would be amazing too. I also almost added goat cheese and pistachios. See, the possibilities of eating fresh are just about endless.
But in the end, simplicity wins again. And when it comes to salads, well, they’re totally my thing.
Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad
- An assortment of citrus totaling about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
- I used:
- 3 navel oranges
- 3 cara cara oranges
- 2 minneola oranges
- 3 mandarin oranges
- 1 blood orange
- 1/2 fennel bulb very thinly sliced
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 shallot peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- Reserved fennel fronds
Slice the peels off of the citrus and place in a bowl or on a serving plate. Layer with thinly slivered fennel slices. Add avocado slices and shallot slivers.
In a small bowl, slowly whisk the olive oil into the champagne vinegar until emulsified. Add the honey and whisk to mix. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over the salad and season with more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with reserved fennel fronds and mint leaves.
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