It’s still way too cold outside! The days are getting longer, though, and juicy, in-season citrus is brightening up my days. Spring will surely come soon. Right?
For now, we can enjoy this cheerful avocado and blood orange salad. You could call it a wintertime version of my favorite avocado salad. It’s bold and bright, and almost looks more like abstract art than food. That is, until you take a bite, and fall in love.
This salad requires some careful slicing and attention to detail. As long as you’re not in a hurry, it’s a really fun dinnertime project and would make a statement at a party.
This salad comes from a relatively new cookbook called Dining In by Alison Roman, which I’ve been reaching for a lot lately when I need a burst of inspiration. I don’t know Alison, but I think she’s cool. She works for The New York Times and Bon Appetit; she’s from California but lives in New York. She’s way cooler than I will ever be.
I really enjoyed her kale salad made with roasted and raw kale, and I can’t wait until summer to try more of the fruit salads in her sweet-and-savory fruit salads chapter (!). I loved her citrus and avocado salad so much that I wanted to share it with you, with some ideas to change it up.
Great produce is key. You can’t make a great blood orange and avocado salad without great citrus and perfectly ripe avocado!
Use your best judgment. Produce size varies quite a bit, so you might want to use two small avocados if you can’t find one large, or throw in an extra orange if your oranges are small. Add as much onion as seems right, but don’t overdo it.
Choose your seeds. Alison’s first suggestion is nigella seeds, which I don’t keep on hand. Maybe I should. Black sesame seeds are great, too, if you can find them (they are more intensely flavored than regular white). She also offers poppy seeds as a suggestion, so I tried them when I made this salad, but I didn’t like those as much. Pepitas are also good!
Salad Preparation Tips
To slice your onion: You’ll want to do this first so the onion can soak in ice-cold water while your work on the rest (this mellows the onion flavor and makes the slices nice and crisp). Cut off the paper end of the onion and peel off the papery skin. Firmly hold the onion against the cutting board so the center runs parallel to the cutting board, and use a sharp knife to slice straight down. You’ll want your onion rounds to be as thin as possible.
To slice your oranges: First, peel off the skin and pull off any big clumps of pith. Carefully hold the orange on its side, with the center running parallel to the cutting board, and use a sharp knife to cut the orange into 1/4-inch thick rounds. If your citrus is very ripe, the rounds may fall apart, but that’s ok!
To slice your avocados: Cut the avocados in half from stem end to base, and carefully remove the pits. Then cut the halves in half again to make long quarters. Peel the avocado skin off of each quarter and carefully slice it into long, 1/4-inch thick strips.
Change it Up
Choose another type of citrus. Any orange will work. Cara caras are particularly good. Ruby red grapefruit might even be nice.
Add sumac and/or Aleppo pepper flakes. Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that is sour and citrusy, so it emphasizes the citrus flavor. (Maybe you have had it on hummus before.) Aleppo pepper flakes are more mild red pepper flakes that offer some nice flavor as well as heat.
For a Mexican variation, substitute toasted pepitas for the sesame seeds, and add a small jalapeño. Slice your jalapeño very thin, and shake out the seeds (they’re the hottest part).
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Looking to get your fill of winter citrus? Here are a few more of my favorite citrus recipes:
- Blood Orange, Fennel and Avocado Salad with Lemon Citronette
- Clementine Sunshine Smoothie
- Blood Orange Curd, Meyer Lemon Curd and Honey Lemon Curd
- Citrus Olive Oil Cake
Blood Orange & Avocado Salad
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: Californian
This beautiful blood orange and avocado salad brightens up dreary winter days! It’s loaded with delicious fresh, seasonal flavors and makes a statement on the dinner table. Recipe yields 4 servings.
- ¼th small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 4 blood oranges (or regular oranges), peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 large or 2 small-to-medium ripe avocados, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
- Flaky sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon nigella seed, black sesame seeds* or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice and water, and soak the onions for 10 to 20 minutes. This step makes the onions crisp and softens their flavor intensity.
- Meanwhile, on a large serving plate, layer the orange and avocado slices.
- Drain the onion well and tuck pieces in between and on top of the orange and avocado. Drizzle the salad with the lime juice and sprinkle generously with salt.
- Sprinkle the seeds and cilantro on top, then drizzle the olive oil all over it. Serve promptly.
Recipe adapted just a little from Dining In by Alison Roman.
*Where to buy: You might be able to find black sesame seeds next to the Asian ingredients in well-stocked grocery stores.
On leftovers: Given the fresh avocado component of this salad, it’s really best served immediately. It might keep for a day in the fridge if you gently toss it so that the avocado is coated in citrus juice.
I love the citrus-avocado combination and make a similar salad, tossing in a handful of pecans and some crumbled blue cheese. Totally addictive. I have company coming next week, and I’ll try your version–it’s gorgeous!
Oh that sounds nice too, Kathryn! Let me know what you think.
Wow! What a beautiful salad! I just received some blood oranges and avocados in my Imperfect Produce box and was wondering what to make. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome, Amber!
As denoted, the recipe is wonderful. We just got the last of the blood oranges per the season and they used for tonights meal. As per your other recipes, you have wonderful talent and taste. All the best in your endeavours.
Thank you, Misha!
Heather | Southern Honey
This salad looks amazing! I’ll definitely have to give it a try!
Let me know what you think, Heather!
Ok so I prematurely 5-starred this recipe knowing it will be great and for the amazing pictures as well. FYI, Alison Roman, California, New York Bon Appetit etc. have nothing on you! I will have you know I bought the cookbook “Dining In”, was unimpressed and returned it, but kept yours and consistently cook out of it and it is my favorite! Keep up the great work because you are SO talented and your recipes are among the best out there…I try a lot of them:o) Thank you Kathryne <3:o)
Thanks, Janet! :)
Made this salad this evening, and it was fantastic! Blood oranges are going strong here still in California though I don’t buy them often, usually preferring mandarins. But I thoroughly enjoyed this blood orange salad, and the lime really brought out all the flavors. Thank you for your wonderful, creative recipes!
You’re welcome, Jessica!
Five stars? When I can’t even EAT the darn thing. Well, yes. First of all, those pictures! Do blood oranges have to be so delicious and beautiful? But it was the note, warning about the blood orange/grapefruit link that got me, and partly explains why your blog is so phenomenal. I didn’t know and my husband takes blood pressure medicine and I have cancer! So I think I may skip this beautiful one and make another. Instead, like Janet, my letter is more fan mail than review, but I have Never had one of your recipes be anything but great and I love the way you give us the freedom to make them our own by your suggestions and ‘change it up’ ideas. Bought the cookbook yesterday and am equally inspired by it. Cherry Crumble tonight, with my other eye on those wraps. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for sharing, Kathy!
I made this salad last night and my husband couldn’t get enough! We both loved it. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Jenna!
When a recipe is so gorgeous is stops you dead in your scrolling tracks! Can’t wait to try.
Thanks, Gaby! I of course couldn’t resist!
Ellyn Vander Wyden
Everything you post is always inspiring and delicious!! I look forward to the email and often share. We made the chick pea noodle soup last week and loved it.
Keep up the amazing work!
Thank you, Ellyn!
I made this and wow! Such flavor and color!
Thank you for trying it, Sue!
Fantastic flavours, even using regular oranges!
Thank you for trying it, Diane!
It’s so lite salad item, and i never try orange avocado combination in salad but i think we can add cucumber and carrot in this salad item which can make this more lite and change some taste of salad because avocado and orange is nice combination.
Thank you so much
Thanks for sharing, Ajay!
Winner! Made this for the first time for guests, which is a compliment to you because I knew it would be good without having to do my own test run!
Thanks for the faith, Lora! I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
New Food Pyramid
As a Nutritionist, I must say these are quite a healthy recipe list. I’m a big fan of green vegetables and you just hit all of them approximately. Thanks for sharing this list!
Wow so lite salad. I never heard about orange avocado combination in salad items.. i want to try this brand new salad items… but what can i use instead of virgin olive oil… ?
Thank you so much
You could leave it out and use a little more lime juice. Let me know what you think!
Made it as the recipe indicated but used regular oranges. Couldn’t come up with blood oranges. Excellent and very appealing. Easy to put together and it looks great.
Thank you for your review, Denise!
I haev my own blog and love your style! What recipe plug in do you use to get your recipes looking so good!?
This was the best winter salad with a Mexican chili/stew. I loved the tip on chilling the red onion in ice water before serving – will do that for most salads when red onion is an ingredient as it made a delightful difference. And I used green pumpkin seeds from the bulk foods, and added a mix of blood oranges and regular oranges since I had them on hand. Colorful, and delicious. Thanks for sharing this!
Thank you for sharing, Jo! I appreciate the feedback and your approach.
TERRI LEE UNDERWOOD
This salad looks absolutely gorgeous and is delicious! I love that you plan to cook from this book – I have a copy but have not used it much. Would love to hear about any other recipes you enjoy in a future post – I always LOVE every Cookie+Kate recipe I make, you are one of my go-to/never-fail sites.
PS Pick up the nigella seeds if you get a chance. They have a nice smoky onion/herby taste – I love them sprinkled on eggs or soups.
I might just need to get them, Terri! Thank you for your review.
Look delicious! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe.
Have just begun a Whole 30 cycle and saw this salad … perfect for my dinner this evening with a simply roasted pork tenderloin. Thank you !
You’re welcome, Susan!
Thank you, Rhonda!
I love avocado in salad <3
It’s so good!
Absolutely loved it! Thanks Kate!
This was great over mixed greens.
I love the blood orange and avocado combination with the lemon juice (didn’t have lime) and olive oil! So simple when these items are in season. I put it on a bed of baby kale and ate with some roasted asparagus and baby red potatoes with dill. A perfect spring dinner!
I have never commented on a recipe. But, this was fabulous. I used a local Tuscan herb olive oil. Thank you for sharing!
I’m happy you did! Thank you for your review, Rae.
Hubby and I loved it! Made it w heirloom “regular” oranges and used roasted salted pepitas. The trick of soaking the red onion in water was new to me and is the best! Next time I will add a bit more cilantro for my taste. Thank you!
Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Patricia.
This looks really amazing and I’m excited to try it. Was this your entire meal or did you put something else with it? We’re trying to eat less meat, but I’m having trouble figuring this part out. Thank you so much!
Hi! This makes a great side dish.
This was so much more than the sum of its parts! Really delicious flavors AND it’s beautiful. Exciting because it’s made with ingredients I typically have around. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Cheryl!