This is a really great citrus salad that has everything going for it: creamy avocado, zingy orange segments, fresh and crunchy Baby Gem leaves, and tender baby carrots. In the winter you can use clementines or grapefruits instead of oranges (or even Seville oranges when they start to arrive). In the early spring, try making this with gorgeous blood oranges.
First, segment the oranges. Cut off the skins and white pith from 2 of the oranges then cut out the orange segments in between the membranes. Juice the remaining orange and the lime and pass the juice through a fine sieve.
Put the coriander and cumin seeds into a dry pan, place it over a high heat and heat the seeds until they are fragrant and lightly toasted. Tip the spices into a bowl and allow to cool before grinding them to a coarse powder using a pestle and mortar. Set aside half the ground spice and mix the rest with the orange and lime juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste, to make a spiced dressing.
Trim off the stalks of the young carrots and save the tender leaves for garnish. Heat the butter and oil in a pan until hot. Add the carrots and a bit of seasoning and toss to coat in the melted butter. Sauté over a medium heat for 7–10 minutes until the carrots are lightly golden brown and tender. Transfer the carrots to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Peel and stone the avocados then cut them into eighths. Place these into a bowl along with the carrots, orange segments and spiced dressing. Toss gently to coat.
Select six of the nicest-looking lettuce leaves and cut them in half. Trim the rest of the leaves into neat oval pieces. Dress the lettuce with the vinaigrette.
To serve, arrange the orange pieces, avocado, carrots and lettuce leaves on individual serving plates. Garnish with the coriander and carrot leaves and sprinkle with the reserved ground spice. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Jason Atherton’s SOCIAL SUPPERS, published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Photography by John Carey.
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