As many of you know, I LOVE salads. I eat one for lunch almost every single day. I really believe that it’s important to eat some raw fruits and vegetables daily. And I adore blood oranges. Their season is NOW so try to go out and buy some and make this Blood Orange, Avocado and Baby Kale Salad. It’s so simple, refreshing, and truly delicious.
Blood oranges always remind me of Italy – a beloved place for my whole family. My husband worked with the largest Italian shoe manufacturer, the Soldinis, in the early years of our marriage, running the women’s division for North America. (Boy did I have a shoe collection then!) He came back from trips there and always remarked how they often had fruit for dessert and that the Italians were deft at eating it with a knife and fork! The first time I ever tasted a blood orange was in Italy – when I would go on trips as the “wife” – not working myself. Then our oldest son chose to be in Italy for his university semester abroad. And as luck would have it, the University of Rochester had their Italian branch in Arezzo, Tuscany, exactly the same city where we spent the most amount of our time, since the Soldinis lived there.
While our oldest was there in school, we made a family trip to visit and of course got in touch with the Soldinis, and they invited all of us to their home for a traditional Sunday lunch. Elita served a 12 course meal! This lunch lasted from noon to past 4 pm. She made everything – all so delicious. I remember at least three different meat courses, soup, two different pastas, salad, vegetables, on and on, it was a feast. And I kept on asking to help her and she kept refusing, but finally I insisted. She did have a woman helping get things out of the kitchen but everything else she did. It was such an amazing memorable time for food and conversation. Rossano was around when our oldest was born and now here we were all together again, all grown, on their turf. And yes, we did have fruit for dessert, served with a knife and fork.
BLOOD ORANGE, AVOCADO AND BABY KALE SALAD – serves 2
2 handfuls of baby kale greens – washed and dried
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
2 blood oranges, peeled with a sharp knife and sliced
2 scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only
Finest extra virgin olive oil you can find – I used Harmonian Kalamata olive oil from our fall MARY’s secret ingredients box
Pepper, fresh ground
Slice the ends off of the oranges and hold one flat and firm, cut side down, on a cutting board while slicing the peel and pith off with a sharp knife. Roll the orange over and slice into 4 slices.
Place a handful of baby kale on each plate. Put alternating slices of avocado and blood orange on top of the kale. Top with sliced scallions. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil on top. No need for any vinegar as you have the citrus with the oranges. Enjoy!