Friday, February 17, 2012
I am a firm believer of enjoying the simple things in life, which I think rings true for almost everything, including culinary explorations. I have consumed many a thing from foie gras to oysters to truffles (the mushrooms, not the chocolate) to fiddle head ferns and everything in between. I have dined on plates that were highly complex with many components to simple dishes with only two to three components. I often have found that I truly enjoy and savor more the dishes that are very simple (two to four) components that really do celebrate the flavors and quality of the ingredients. It's weird, but salads are one of my favorite simple pleasures. Even if it is just simple greens tossed with good quality olive oil and sea salt, I just love it, especially when served as one of the last courses as in a traditional French meal (because it aids in digestion). This was a salad I had made recently, and although I wished I could have found mâché, spring greens work just as well. I love the rich, creamy flavor of the avocados contrasted against the tangy oranges...and the fromage blanc is an added bonus.
Citrus and Avocado Salad with Fromage Blanc serves 4
2 navel oranges
2 blood oranges
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and pepper
4 cups mâché or spring greens
fromage blanc, for garnish
Grate 1 tablespoon orange zest and add to a food processor. Trim skin from the oranges and remove white pith from core, slice into 1/4 inch rounds.
Squeeze juice from three orange slices into food processor and discard pulp. Add shallots and vinegar. Blend mixture, adding olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a bowl, toss greens with salad dressing and coarse salt and pepper.
Arrange avocado and orange slices amongst four plates. Mound greens on top of each plate. Top with dollups of fromage blanc and serve.