I first tasted this recipe when I was in Crete for a culinary event organized by the Cretan olive oil company Biolea. I was curious as to why they included avocado in an otherwise traditional Cretan menu. Discussing with the chef Giorgos Makris, he noted that although avocado is not part of the traditional Cretan diet, it has been cultivated in Crete for over 25 years now and they have developed ways and recipes to incorporate it with the rest of the traditional diet.
And they did it very well. Avocado, along with oranges, olive oil, lemon juice and cumin makes a very healthy, Mediterranean and flavorful salad. At first I thought it was too much to add olive oil to the already rich in (good) fat avocado. But surprisingly all the ingredients mingled well to make a fresh tasting salad.
I used Cretan avocados, Spartan oranges (known to be some of the best) from my cousin who owns orange groves there, and olive oil from my families olive groves. For such a simple recipe, good ingredients are important, so try and source local and fresh ingredients when you can.
You don’t need to make a large amount as this salad is filling and yes rich, but it is also extremely healthy. Plenty of the good monounsaturated fats from the olive oil and avocado, vitamin C from the orange and lemon juice and of course fiber.
Now I have to say that the chef’s creation looked much nicer than mine. I chose to cube the avocado and oranges, although sliced avocados would probably look better, the small cubes help you get all the flavors together in one bite. And while you are peeling the orange try to leave some the white skin (pith) on, it is a source of antioxidants.
Avocado and Orange Salad with Olive Oil-Lemon dressing
- 1 large avocado peeled and cubed (about 7-8 ounces)
- 1 large orange peeled and cubed (about 4 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pepper to taste
1. Make the dressing by mixing olive oil, lemon juice cumin, salt and pepper in a small jar or bowl.
2. Peel and cut avocado and orange. Place in a bowl and mix carefully so as to not mash the avocado.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and blend gently.
Many thanks to Chef Giorgos Makris