Salad of Lotus, Oranges, Avocado, and Water Cress

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    as a first course
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Creamy avocado contrasts with crisp lotus rounds, and sweet oranges with bitter water cress, in a salad that looks as good as it tastes. Pear or raspberry vinegar is nice here, but any gentle fruity vinegar will suit. Lotus that is narrow in diameter makes the best presentation, as slices can be kept whole. Serve alongside seafood or pork.

Ingredients

  • About ½ pound lotus
  • 2 medium navel oranges
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fruit vinegar
  • Optional: sugar
  • Fine-ground white pepper
  • cup delicate olive oil (or mix olive oil with grapeseed or corn oil)
  • 1 medium-large avocado (preferably Florida type)
  • 2 bunches water cress, trimmed, rinsed, and separated into sprigs

    Method

    1. Cut apart lotus links. Trim off “necks” and bristly roots, if any. Scrub with vegetable brush. Pare skin with swivel peeler. Cut into thin slices (if lotus is of large diameter, first halve lengthwise). Drop into boiling salted water. Boil just until raw taste disappears, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain and spread on a towel.
    2. Scrub 1 orange. Coarsely grate zest; put into a small jar. Pare all peel and pith from both oranges. Halve oranges lengthwise, then cut into thin crosswise slices, saving any juice. Add juice and vinegar to zest, then add sugar and pepper to taste. Add oil- and shake to blend. Toss half the dressing with lotus. Cover and chill until serving time (can be refrigerated overnight).
    3. Halve, pit, peel, and thin-slice avocado. Toss cress with remaining dressing. Arrange on plates. Arrange orange, avocado, and lotus over all.