I am in absolute awe of this place. Huddled in my dorm room last winter, praying to the Sun Gods, I had trouble understanding why anyone would agree to – let alone want – to live in a place as cold, dreary, and unforgiving as upstate New York.
Now I get it. I see the light – literally. Every single day I am flabbergasted by how green and lush and full of life the landscape I am lucky enough to inhabit is. Birds and small woodland creatures frolic, water is abundant (in the streams, the lakes, the every-twenty-feet ponds); every time I turn around a flower has bloomed or a tree has sprung up. Please forgive my winter curses. I take them all back.
This salad is my culinary love-letter to the North Country – simple, fresh, full of life. I’m pretty in love with fruit in salads. Especially if they’re paired with a savory or salty component (like nuts or an avocado). Suddenly rabbit food feels like royalty food. The burst of fresh sweetness you get when biting into an orange slice, the crunch of crisp greens, and the salty and creamy bite of avocado…it all comes together into a happy, fresh chord. It’s heaven. Treat yourself to a salad today. This is no punishment, this is a reward.
Orange, Mint, and Avocado Salad
1 small orange
Large handful spinach
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp minced mint
Arrange the spinach on a plate. Take your half of an avocado (skin still on) and cut into long slices with a small knife. Then cut the other way. You should now be holding a crosshatched avocado in your hand. Scoop out the creamy goodness over your greens with a spoon; perfect little squares of avocado should fall out! For the orange I cut the peel off with a chef’s knife, then cut the de-skinned fruit into little sections.
Now that your basic salad is assembled, turn your attention to the dressing. You should have a pile of orange skins from earlier. Now’s the time to commit to this salad! Dive in and squeeze out the extra juice into a small container. Add the olive oil, your minced mint, and salt and pepper to taste. I’m a bit of a salt fiend, so I actually put salt into the dressing and onto the avocado pieces, but that might be a bit much for some…
Drizzle your dressing onto your salad and eat luxuriously. Who said good-for-you-food couldn’t actually be good?