This time of year all things citrus beckon to me. It might be a natural need for vitamin C, but whatever the reason, I have in my possession a perfect smallish pineapple and some limes from my bountiful basket. Okay, I know pineapple is not a citrus, but it’s sweet acidic juice and texture is a perfect pairing for my limes and the orange and ancho chili pepper dressing I will be tossing this salad with. Try this salad as a side or perhaps a main meatless dish during the middle of the week. This salad inspiration comes from a vegetarian cookbook titled “The Tassajara Recipe Book” by Edward Espe Brown. The following is my adaptation….
Note: I find that cilantro can sometimes be a little strong and will quickly overpower a dish. I like to just use the leaves. I can still get that fresh cilantro taste, but it is not as bold as using the stems and leaves combined. I first rinse the cilantro and then pick off the leaves and drop them into a prep bowl. Then I use herb shears to cut them into bits. This keeps the process more contained and it is easy to scoop them into the blades in a smaller confinement.
For the salad:
¼ red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
¼ cup red onion, cut crosswise into thin arcs
¼ cup cilantro leaves – diced very small
1 small pineapple (about 2 cups) cut into bite sized pieces
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup jicama, cut into thin matchsticks
1 large, or 2 small very ripe avocados, cut into chunks
For the dressing:
½ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon ground Ancho Chili spice
¼ teaspoon salt
Peel and cut the pineapple. Place the pieces into a mixing bowl.
Then peel and slice the jicama into matchstick size pieces. Top the pineapple with the jicama and squeeze lime juice over it and toss.
Next, slice the red pepper very thin and add it to the pineapple mixture.
Then, slice the red onion very thin and add it to the mixture.
Now, top the peppers and onions with the cilantro.
Then, slice the avocadoes and add to the bowl.
Using a 1 cup container, add the orange juice, ancho chili spice and the salt. Mix well and then pour over the avocados.
Now, toss all very gently. The creaminess of the avocados will add a creamy texture to the salad when tossed. For this reason I find no need to add oil to the dressing.
Link for the cookbook: The Tassajara Recipe Book