The Clara Project: Simple, beautiful orange-avocado salad.

In summer, you only need four ingredients to make a sublime salad: sliced garden tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, just-picked basil and olive oil. In winter, it just takes three: avocado, orange and olive oil.

I was surprised to encounter such a simple winter salad amid my collection of 1930s recipes (read more about The Clara Project and the vintage recipe cards that inspired it). Salads—in fact, many of the recipes—were just so, well, fussy. And this old-fashioned recipe for Avocado Salad, clipped from the pages of The American Home magazine (I’m guessing in the 1940s or early 1950s) is, at its core, quite simple. But typical of the time, the presentation is rather on the fussy side. The recipe instructs the home cook to decorate the plate with celery curls and parsley fronds (those are the weird blobby things in the photo). Curiously, the avocado half is served in its shell, which would make for awkward eating. “This makes a smart dish to serve either as the first course for dinner or as the main course for luncheon,” it reads. “When using as a luncheon dish, have soup for the first course and serve nut bread sandwiches filled with cream cheese as an accompaniment to the salad.”

orange avocado salad recipe #writes4food

Which is all a little “ladies-who-lunch” for me.

So we’ll boil this fancy recipe down to its essences: Creamy avocado, bright orange, good olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. No need to fuss it up.

easy orange-avocado salad recipe

(serves 2)

1 large, perfectly ripe avocado
1 large navel orange
good olive oil, the best you have (bonus: use citrus-infused olive oil)
coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Halve the avocado, remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out each half. Slice each avocado half into 6 to 8 wedges. Peel and segment the orange, reserving the juice. Arrange half the avocado and orange slices on each of 2 salad plates; drizzle with olive oil and reserved orange juice and season well with salt and pepper.

easy orange avocado salad recipe #writes4food

About The Clara Project
Once a week, I’ll make and share a recipe from a collection of vintage recipe cards that were written in the 1930s by Clara Shenefelt. See all the Clara Project recipes.

5 thoughts on “The Clara Project: Simple, beautiful orange-avocado salad.

  1. Your presentation is marked improvement over the toenail garnish on a plastic plate over a paper towel, too.

  2. Snort! Toenail garnish! Good thing I’d already set down my tea.

    I do agree, Bryn, that your photos are really wonderful. Though I wonder in 60 years if folks will laugh at what we think is a beautiful photo.

    I’m making this salad this week once the avocados are ripe. Thanks!

  3. I agree — your presentation is much prettier. Looks easier to eat too. I’m going to try it, maybe tonight since I have a ripe avocado in the fridge.

  4. Pingback: The Clara Project: favorite vintage recipes. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen