Citrus Avocado Salad with Toasted Walnuts [recipe] – The Citrus Paradox

Citrus Avocado Salad with Walnuts
Well, it’s official. The fat furry groundhog did not see his shadow today so Spring is coming sooner rather than later.

We never quite understood the logic behind Groundhog Day. We always figured that if Punxatawney Phil sees his shadow, that means the sun has to be shining, which would mean warm Spring is coming sooner rather than six weeks later. However, it’s the opposite that’s true. When the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, the prediction is that winter is ending. But if there’s no shadow, doesn’t that mean there’s no sun, i.e. it’s cloudy and cold?! Why does no shadow, i.e. no sun, mean winter is ending?

See, this reverse, opposite logic makes no sense to us.

What also makes no sense to us is citrus season. We have always been confused by the emergence of the brightest, sunniest fruits during the coldest, darkest months of the year. Bright oranges. Sunshine yellow lemons. Glittering green limes. These are colors of spring and summer, not the deep dark browns and muted oranges of winter fruits.

But perhaps, like the groundhog, it is on the coldest, cloudiest and this year, obscenely snowiest, month of the year, precisely when we think we can’t take one more heavy, starchy meal of mostly mushy brown, that fresh citrus is just meant to make us feel better.

We actually kind of hope that winter does stick around longer so that we can enjoy citrus season for another six weeks.
Citrus Avocado Salad with Walnuts

Citrus Avocado Salad with Toasted Walnuts

inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe in the New York Times (much of the recipe here, but with TasteSpotting Kitchen’s modifications indicated)
serves 4


2 tangerines
1 pink grapefruit
1 navel orange (we used 2)
½ small red onion or 1 shallot, chopped (we sliced them paper-thin, but ended up leaving onions out, not for any reason other than we forgot)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (we used walnut oil, and double the amount)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (omitted)
½ teaspoon honey (omitted)
lime or lemon juice to taste (omitted)
¼ teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon or a pinch dried (we we going to use thyme. and like the red onions, we forgot)

TasteSpotting Kitchen also added:
fresh herb salad mix
1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
½ cup toasted walnuts


Peel citrus, taking care to remove as much of the bitter pith as possible. Slice cross-wise into rounds between ¼- to ½ inch thick. (For the grapefruit, we peeled into segments, removing the membrane.) Remove any pits, layer fruit on a serving dish, sprinkle with salt and garnish with onion.

(We placed about a cup of herb salad mix on each plate first, then added the citrus along with sliced avocado and toasted walnuts.)

Mark Bittman did this: “Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and tarragon until well combined; taste, adjust seasoning as needed and drizzle over salad.”

TasteSpotting Kitchen drizzledabout 2 tablespoons of walnut oil over everything on each plate, then hit with salt and pepper to taste.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 2, 2011 · 2 comments

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudie February 3, 2011 at 6:58 am

Looks stunning! And the combination must taste so good. That’s a bookmark :)


Alison December 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Thanks for an amazing recipe, love your blog
Low Fat Salad Recipes


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