March 29, 2011
Citrus and Secrets
Let's get this out of the way. I'm not a big fan of citrus. Okay, let me revise that. I'm not a fan of eating oranges, tangerines or grapefruit out of hand. That skin that surround each section, the dry white pith - no thank you! I feel like I could chew it for days and it would never break down and that just plain grosses me out. It once took me a whole 30 minutes to eat a clementine because I had to peel the skin off each section just to get to the tasty juicy parts.
People think I'm crazy.
I have no problem with orange juice - except maybe the really pulpy stuff - or the flavor of any citrus. I obsess over cakes made using an entire citrus fruit, rind, pith and all. I'm all for infusing spirits with the bright color and flavor of blood oranges. Supreming or segmenting citrus and tossing into salads is a-okay too. It's just that skin. It, well, gets under my skin.
But this relish or salsa or whatever you want to call it, I would never turn my nose up at it. It's bright, refreshing and a welcome change from the standby guacamole. And really, it comes from Oprah, and who would say no to that woman? Not I! (Even if we did serendipitously end up camping a few sites away from her in Yosemite and she didn't come and share cocktails with us.)
Citrus Avocado Salsa
Adapted from O Magazine, December 2010
Originally, this recipe called for pomegranates, but since those are no longer in season, I substituted a variety of oranges for color contrast and differing levels of acidity. Also, loving avocados as much as I do, I doubled up on the amount of avocado called for and opted for the more potent heat of a serrano chile. Oprah made a convert out of this orange hater, and I think you'll love this salsa too. It's quite lovely with pomegranates, so keep it in mind when their season comes back around.
Makes at least 4 cups
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 oranges (I used 2 blood oranges, 2 cara cara and 2 navels for variety)
2 medium avocados, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup diced red onion
1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt and pepper until salt dissolves.
Remove all skin, white pith, and seeds from the oranges, reserving any juice that's squeezed out in the process. Drain juice into a measuring cup and set aside. Cut orange segments into 1/2-inch pieces and add to bowl containing lime juice.
Add the avocado, red onion, jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro to the bowl. Gently fold the ingredients together, being careful to not mash the avocados. Add reserved orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until salsa is moist but not soupy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.