Arugula-Avocado Salad with Almonds, Hemp, & Spring Onion-Meyer Lemon Dressing
The salad is a celebration of spring and its bounty.
This ILOC superfood salad is deceptively easy to make, yet the flavors are so sophisticated, they practically jump off the plate. There is a lot of juxtaposition and harmony happening at once: the peppery arugula, the creamy avocado, toasted and nutty almonds and hemp, and then that smooth yet puckery dressing made from the field and the jar. All that, and this dish celebrates health and springtime!
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; sheet pan; measuring spoons; wet measuring cup; dry measuring cup; tongs; large and small mixing bowls; food processor or blender; rubber spatula
Ingredients: 3 spring onions, washed and roots trimmed with greens in tact, split in half 1 Meyer lemon ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided ¼ cup cold water salt and pepper to taste (extra olive oil and water as needed to balance the flavor/texture) 1, 5-ounce clamshell of baby arugula 3 ripe avocados, peeled, stones removed, and quartered ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds, toasted 2 tablespoons raw, shelled hemp seeds
“Don't be bitter. But you should eat bitter foods! It's as good for your body as it is for your taste buds.”
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the spring onions flat-side down on a sheet plan and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until wilted and golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, slice the Meyer lemon in quarters and remove the seeds. Then take all the flesh from the lemon and put it in the blender or food processor. Remove all the white pith from the remaining skin and discard, keeping just the yellow zest.
3. Add to lemon flesh the zest, spring onion, olive oil, and water and puree until smooth and creamy. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, blend again and taste. If you need to thin the mixture, add more water and then season to taste. Correct the flavors as needed by adding more lemon juice or vinegar if not acidic enough, or by adding more oil if too acidic.
4. In a small mixing bowl, drizzle the avocado quarters with ½ cup of dressing. Set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine the arugula and another ½ cup of the dressing. Add more as desired (store any remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week). Then add in ¼ cup almonds and the hemp. Toss well.
6. To serve, divide the dressed greens among four plates and top each plate with three avocado quarters. Sprinkle with remaining toasted almonds.
If you cannot find spring onions or Meyer lemons or wish to make this past their short-lived season, use one bunch of scallions and ¼ of a preserved lemon.