There's an old saying that .................
..................... "Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver". Well, not THAT hard, ........... :) but I did make a promise to share this recipe last week that we enjoyed so much at The Inn at Little Pond Farm. Though a bit late, due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm so happy to share Gaye's wonderful recipe today. I think you'll love having this delightful salad in your collection as much as I do! Thanks Gaye!
This recipe is very adaptable. I served mine with a tiny basil and mint leaves for garnish and fabulous fresh flavor. Gaye served the salad over Romaine lettuce - check out her version here. Her avocado was not ripe so she left it out, but the salad was still fabulous!
You could add fresh sliced cucumbers or roasted beets. Substitute peaches or nectarines for the oranges if desired. No fresh herbs? ………. shower with a generous sprinkle of Herbs de Provence. Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a main dish salad………… Sounds to me like another LBD recipe!
The dressing for this salad is a very simple, classic French vinaigrette. In France, they almost never ask you what type of dressing you'd like on your salad. It will come with a delicious dressing, similar to this one, using high quality vinegar and olive oil. So when you enjoy this yummy salad, close your eyes and pretend you're in a lovely outdoor bistro in Provence, looking out at the Mediterranean! Bon Appetit!
Gaye's Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Oranges & Vinaigrette Provence
2 large avocados (Haas, if they're available in your part of the world)
2 medium navel oranges, peeled, white pith removed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
tiny fresh basil, or larger leaves, thinly sliced
tiny fresh mint leaves, or larger leaves, thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the avocados in half. Gently twist to separate the halves. Remove the pit. Cut in quarters and remove the peel. Slice into 1/4 inch slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado slices.
2. Combine the olive oil, mustard, white balsamic and a generous pinch of sea salt in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake well.
3. Arrange avocado, oranges, tomatoes and red onion on a large platter or individual salad plates. Drizzle with the dressing. Shower with fresh herbs and a few generous grinds of black pepper.
Buy the very best olive oil, vinegar, mustard and sea salt that you can afford for your salad dressings. There is a huge difference and you'll be shocked at how delicious this simple combination of good quality ingredients will be!
Not sure what olive oils, vinegars and/or sea salt to buy? Here's a few suggestions, but there are many other wonderful products. Do you have a favorite?
Here's a list of better quality grocery store olive oils.
Another list of good olive oils tested by Real Simple Magazine
Cooking Light did a great review on red wine vinegars.
I like many of the vinegars from Trader Joe's. I used their white balsamic vinegar for this recipe and it was delicious. They also have a wonderful champagne vinegar that I use frequently.
Amazon did a review of their top rated vinegars based on customer reviews
My favorite mustards are Maille Dijon Mustard or Edmond Fallot both from France, but fairly readily available at larger grocers.
Most of you who follow the Café know that I love Maldon sea salt, although there are lots of other wonderful sea salts on the market.