Escarole Salad with Avocados and Oranges
I sometimes forget how great a simple salad can be. This one is from Janet Fletcher’s “Fresh From the Farmers’ Market”, and I used a mix of baby escarole and frisee lettuces. Combined with the shallot vinaigrette, avocados, and oranges, this salad is full of different textures and flavors, all of them fantastic. It calls for naval oranges, but when I saw our market had blood oranges – which I think are perfect for salads because of their beautiful color – I grabbed them up to use alongside the regular naval oranges.
I have a real soft spot for blood oranges. The first time I had one was in Barcelona, Spain. I studied abroad in London my senior year, and during our spring break, my dear friend, Lindsay, and I traveled around Europe together. Lest you think it was some extravagant and lavish trip, let me dispel that image. We did the trip on the cheap, often sleeping on trains or staying in less-than-glamorous hostels. We lugged our backpacks all over the place and ate as much street food as we could get our hands on.
In Brussels we had a real Belgian waffle chock full of pearl sugar from a street vendor, and we still talk about that waffle to this day. We spent almost a full day in cold, rainy Austria eating pastries in a cafe. And don’t even get me started on Italy… One of our goals was to eat gelato at least twice a day while we were there, and at least three times on our last day. I clearly wasn’t vegan at the time!
The whole trip really revolved around food for us, and during our brief stop in Barcelona, we were directed to the Boqueria Market where we bought some blood oranges. I’d never seen them before, and I thought they looked and tasted amazing. Every time I see a blood orange, I think of Lindsay and of that trip, one of the best of my life. I so vividly remember all of the food we ate and all of the little adventures we had along the way.