While I miss the strawberries and tomatoes at the farmers market at my hospital this time of year, I also welcome the orange that has replaced red as a dominant color. There's also a lot more white and green. Amidst the everchanging kaleidoscope of fruits and veggies, I chose some oranges and fennel not knowing what I was going to do with them. Again, a recipe jumped out of the Bi-Rite cookbook, "Eat Good Food." While the recipe calls for blood oranges, I used the Cara Cara oranges I had just purchased in this adapted version. So simple yet so tasty, this is perfect for holiday gatherings as it takes minimal time and looks pretty.
Wishing all the best for happy and healthy holidays.
4 oranges. Use blood oranges if they are in season.
2 small fennel bulbs, some fronds reserved
2 medium avocados
1 small shallot, finely minced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 avocados, thinly sliced
Cut the ends off of the oranges so it they stand flat on a cutting board. Cutt off the peel and pith vertically follwing the contours of the fruit. Slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on four plates. Saving some of the fennel fronds, halve the bulb and remove the core. Slice the fennel thinly about 1/16th inch thick or use a mandoline. Artfully pile the fennel on the orange slices. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise. Strike the pit with the middle of the blade then twist 1/4 turn to remove the pit. Scoop the avocado out with a soup spoon and lay it flat side down on the cutting board. Make thin diagonal slices then “fan’ the slices out. Slide your knife under them to transfer a half to each plate. Arrange the slices around the mound of fennel.
Mix the shallot, lemon juice, champagne vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Whick in the olive oil and about a teaspoon of minced fennel fronds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress the salads and serve. NB: seasonal shellfish works well if you wish.