Hermitage Ranch salad

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Hermitage Ranch salad



Combine the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, zest, honey and salt and pepper to taste in a blender and process for a few seconds, or whisk everything together in a bowl.



Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Set them aside.


Watercress can be muddy, so wash it thoroughly, then tear the small sprigs from the branches, discarding the heavy stems. Spin it in a salad spinner to dry. Rinse and tear the butter lettuce and spin dry.


Peel the tangerines, remove all the white pith and separate the sections. Slice the peel off the grapefruit and separate the sections, removing the membranes. Peel the avocados and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Unless you are cutting the avocados at the last moment, sprinkle a little lemon juice on them and cover them.


Combine the watercress, lettuce, tangerines, grapefruit, avocado and crumbled cheese in a large salad bowl and toss together with your hands. Add most of the dressing and continue lifting and turning very gently until everything is evenly bathed, then taste and add a bit more dressing only if it’s needed. Arrange the salad on individual plates and sprinkle the toasted walnut pieces on top.

The brilliant, peppery taste of fresh watercress is offset by the buttery richness of Hass avocados and sweet pixie tangerines. A little cheese and some toasted walnuts give this salad an elegant finish. If you want to make it even more luxurious, substitute lightly pralined walnuts for plain, toasted ones. When pixie tangerines are not in season, substitute one or two sweet oranges, separating them into peeled sections.

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