March 18, 2011

Citrus Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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We are blessed here in California with the perfect climate for growing citrus.  I have always been fascinated at the number of Orange, Lemon, and Avocado trees heavy with fruit that I see all around the Los Angeles area.  The trees are beautiful with the bright skinned fruits dangling from their branches, but they must be picked to ensure a larger crop for the next year.  The new blossoms come before all of the fruit is off the trees and the perfumed smell in the air is amazing.

Other than avocados which we have attempted to sprout and plant without much success, we fully embraced the California climate and planted over 22 citrus trees in our garden.  We have Meyer Lemon, Orange, Kumquat, and Ruby Grapefruit trees at our home, and they thrive.  I am always trying to find new ways to use them and this salad is one I will make again.

Citrus Salad
 
3 oranges, peeled with a knife and sliced into rounds
12 kumquats, sliced crosswise into rounds
1 avocado (California grown), peeled and sliced
  (Mexican avocados are also good, but avoid those grown in Chile. They do not have a good flavor or texture)
1 small bunch of romaine lettuce or kale, torn
 
If you wish to prepare the oranges and kumquats ahead of time, set aside in a covered bowl at room temperature for up to 2 hours or refrigerated for no more than 8 hours.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, prepared oranges and kumquats, and avocado. Drizzle liberally with poppy seed dressing and serve immediately.
 
Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup grape seed oil (olive oil is fine but the flavor is not neutral)
 
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, water, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, celery seeds, and salt. In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the oil. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 weeks.

 

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Categories: Dressings & Sauces, Fall & Winter, From The Garden, Fruits, Salads
 

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