I was twelve years old when my grandfather married my step-grandmother. I had always been an adventurous eater and loved salads, which both baffled and delighted her. She still loves to tell the story of the first time I had dinner at her house and she served a giant salad comprised of vine ripened tomatoes, romaine, thinly sliced onion and a perfectly ripe and buttery avocado. It was the first time I’d had avocado in a salad and I almost single handedly devoured the entire bowl myself. She LOVED it. After 35 years of teaching fifth grade, she’d never seen a kid plow through a salad like I did.
To this day, I am still a lover of salads. I love trying new combinations, but avocado usually sneaks it’s way in somewhere…it’s always California Avocado when the fruit is in season. In summertime, I go with the classic fresh from the garden tomato/avocado combination. In the autumn, I pair beets and with California Avocados before the season ends — they are so delicious together.
For this salad, I’ve paired citrus and creamy California Avocado to create a satisfying, yet light, salad…along with some crisp, salty bacon for crunch. It has enough substance to stand up as a winter salad, and is great for those days where you might have overdone it the day before and need a nice, light meal.
Citrusy Avocado Salad Recipe
- 6 ounces arugula (this is about the equivalent of a bag of prewashed leaves)
- 1 ripe California avocado, halved, scooped out of the shell and sliced
- 2 medium oranges, sectioned (look for blood or valencia varieties for vibrant color)
- ¼ red or purple onion, sliced very thin
- 3 slices bacon, cooked till very crispy, then crumbled or chopped
- Vinaigrette (see make-ahead recipe below)
- Assemble all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Dress salad with Vinaigrette and toss ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place all of ingredients in a blender and mix at a low speed until combined.