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February 07, 2013

A Salad for Lovers

Cara Cara Oranges and Avocados
Ladies, when it comes to love, you don't need the fancy lingerie, although it couldn't hurt to throw out those old, torn underwear that you've had for the last decade--or two. And gentlemen, forget the strong cologne that can make a girl's eyes water and her mascara run.

Love is all about the long haul. You know, hanging on through all the tough times, pushing each other, picking each other up, talking your way through to the morning when you're both awake at 2 a.m. and can't sleep because life is putting you to the test.

Love is about making it through all of that and still laughing and loving each other--no matter what shape your underwear are in.

Today, Mr. B's Mom and Pop have been married for 50 years. That's half a century. That's a long time. A really long time. What a cool accomplishment, but even cooler is that they love each other more today than ever. So, to those two little lovebirds, I've whipped up this special salad with an interesting little history thrown in.

Cara Cara oranges are a beautiful pink-hued orange with an almost berry-like flavor. They are often described as having a cranberry taste, but I think they have the faintest hint of strawberry. Discovered in Cara Cara, Brazil in the mid-1970s, they are believed to be a cross between the Washington Navel and the Brazilian Bahia Navel--what a sexy name. No one was around that night in the orange grove when the two crossed paths, but surely, more than a few sparks flew.

While Cara Cara is a place, in Italian, cara means beloved and in Spanish, cara means face. So I chose this orange, not only for its beauty, but because to me, the name means beloved face. Sigh. How romantic.

The avocado, on the other hand, has quite a racy history. While first written about in the late 1600s, the avocado as a food source dates back at least 10,000 years. The name comes from the Aztec word, ahuacatl which literally translates to 'testicle tree'. Furthermore, Aztec families would not allow their virgin daughters to leave the house during the avocado harvesting season because the fruits were believed to make women more fertile. And while we no longer wander about the produce section looking for those 'testicle tree' fruits, it is still strongly believed that eating avocados can increase fertility.

You may never look at an avocado the same way again.

Now, on to the salad. This is a wonderfully refreshing salad that not only intrigues the palate, but captures the eye with its vibrant hues. Enjoy one with the love of your life today.

Lover's Salad

2 Cara Cara oranges, trimmed and segmented; juice reserved
1 Large Haas Avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced
2 Large outer leaves of Radicchio
Champagne vinegar
Olive Oil
Slivered, toasted almonds
salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Line two salad plates with the Radicchio.
2. Arrange the sliced avocado, slightly overlapping, and then the Cara Cara orange segments.
3. Evenly distribute the Cara Cara orange juice (from cutting the oranges) between the two salads.
4. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Give each salad a splash of champagne vinegar.
6. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
7. Top with a scattering of the slivered almonds.


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