Salad of Oranges, Cotija Cheese, and Cara Cara Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from The Family Chef, by Jewels and Jill Elmore
This salad features unexpected pairings of vibrant ingredients—mache, avocado, and cotija cheese with a citrus dressing—and is sure to satisfy your craving for fresh wholesome flavors.

This recipe is from Jewels and Jill's Healthy Festive Menu.
Servings: Serves 2–4
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds); available at most grocery stores or Latin markets
  • 2 1/2 oranges , preferably Cara Cara
  • 1/2 shallot , minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped dill or chives (optional)
  • 3 cups mache or chopped Bibb lettuce
  • 3 cups tatsoi or chopped red-leaf lettuce
  • 1 avocado , pitted and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese , crumbled
Directions
Note: Cara Cara oranges are a type of navel orange with reddish flesh; if your local market doesn't have them, use regular oranges instead. Cotija cheese is also widely available, but if you cannot find it, substitute Feta or ricotta salata.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pepitas in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast in oven until crisp, about 8 minutes. (Alternatively, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning.) Let cool in pan.

Meanwhile, cut peel and pith from 2 oranges; slice thinly and set aside. Juice remaining 1/2 orange. Make a vinaigrette by whisking together orange juice, shallot, mustard, salt, grapeseed oil, and dill or chives (if using) in a medium bowl.

To assemble salad: Mix mâche and tatsoi; toss lightly with most of vinaigrette. Add oranges and avocado slices; sprinkle pepitas and cheese on top. Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Reprinted by arrangement with Celebra, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright © Jewels and Jill Elmore, 2009.

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