I spent a week in Arizona around the New Year holiday with a dear old friend who moved there a couple years ago. If you’re going to live in Seattle, it’s fortunate to have friends in sunny places. I’m blessed with friends in Arizona, California and Hawaii. The sun is always just a friend away.
There are lots of great reasons to visit Arizona during the winter and my favorite is picking ripe citrus fruit right from the tree. My friends have trees in their side yard, heavy with lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. For a girl from the Northwest, I can liken this to Charlie being let loose in the Chocolate Factory. No matter how many we picked, the stash appeared unchanged. The concept of actually picking and eating all the fruit was impossible. Neighbors leave bags full of citrus by the mailboxes in hopes they’ll find good homes. It reminded me of what can happen with heaping zucchini harvests during the summer here in Seattle.
So, we had bowls of fruit at breakfast, Greyhounds and Moscow Mules for happy hour and this wonderful salad with dinner. Arriving home, I promptly purchased the ingredients and made it again. It tasted like a ray of sunshine on a grey January day, but it didn’t taste as good as when we picked the fruit ourselves. How could it? Make it anyway and dream of the blue skies citrus grows under.
Citrus Avocado Salad
To segment the citrus fruit, I cut away the peel and pith with a serrated knife. Then I remove each segment by cutting as close to the membrane as possible. What’s left is a juicy citrus skeleton of sorts. There’s a nice tutorial here.
4 leaves butter lettuce, washed and dried
1/2 of a large orange, segmented
1/2 of a similar-sized pink grapefruit, segmented
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
1 green onion, green end only, sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
A few grinds of sea salt and pepper
Stack the lettuce leaves and arrange the citrus segments and avocado on top. Drizzle with oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onion.