Apologies for the delay fellow eaters; I am steadily recovering from a ten-day bender on food. Do you ever reach a point when your body pleads “no more!” I can’t say I’m proud, but I feel comfortable admitting that I’ve been accused in this manner on more than 10,000 occasions in my life. Ok, maybe a wee bit less. I just love eating!

The past two weeks were filled with miraculous, inventive, traditional and micro-cultural dishes. A rare combination of holidays and family feasts + Quebecois food + record-breaking snowfalls inspired an onslaught of meals that were heartier than the usual fare, though in all fairness, laden with love and good company.

Before I share recipes from our New Years dinner (I promise they are next), allow me to interrupt this food frenzy with a fresh, clean, rejuvenating salad to welcome 2013.

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Avocado, Clementine and Coconut Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

We used a velvety tahini dressing also made by Dancing Turtle. Here is a close rendition you can make in your own kitchen.

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • Red lettuce - 1 head
  • Kale - 1 bunch
  • Sprouts - 1.5 cups
  • Clementines - 3 clementines
  • Goat cheese - 1/3 cup crumbled, herbed (or plain) goat cheese
  • Avocado - 1 avocado
  • Coconut shreds - 1/3 cup large coconut shreds
  • Lemon-Tahini Dressing:
  • Tahini - 4 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice - 6 tablespoons, freshly squeezed
  • Sesame oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Sea salt - 2 teaspoons sea salt, or more to taste
  • Agave nectar - 4 teaspoons
  • Extra virgin olive oil - 4 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Slice the lettuce and kale leaves thin, like cabbage for coleslaw. Rinse and wash the lettuce and kale and put the shredded leaves in a large serving bowl. (We just got a salad spinner for our wedding, a staple in Mamma's kitchen growing up which I have sacrificed for years while living in Latin America. Don't waste any more time - get one! They are cheap and revolutionize washing and drying your greens. Here's a good choice: Oxo Steel Salad Spinner).
  2. Toss the sprouts in with the salad. We used a sprout blend made from red clover, fenugreek, broccoli, red cabbage, onion and radish seeds - yum! Any sprouts will do.
  3. Peel the clementines and cut each slice into thirds. Spread the clementine pieces over the surface of the salad and sprouts.
  4. Spread the crumbled goat cheese over the salad.
  5. Slice the avocado and arrange it beautifully on the surface.
  6. Finish off the salad with a sprinkle of large coconut shreds.
  7. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar except for the olive oil. Shake vigorously. Add the olive oil and shake vigorously again. Allow each eater to spoon the dressing onto their salad, so that in the rare case there are leftovers, you can avoid soggy salad leftovers!
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