Moroccan Winter Salad

I made this cinchy little salad last night on a whim. Chunks of avocado and grapefruit, dressed with mustardlemonlime and seasoned ever-so-lightly with cumin – easy on the eyes and super healthy with a unique, bold citrus bite. Yum. It was missing just one thing – a name. Something that pays homage to its slightly exotic taste. Hmmm. As I spooned the avocado grapefruit mixture onto a bed of arugula, I paused…Moroccan Winter Salad. Yes! I’ve never been to Morocco, but the name has an alluring, flavor enhancing ring to it. Don’t you think? I promptly took a photo and then inhaled my Moroccan Wintery goodness in less than two minutes.

To wash it down, I popped myself a colossal bowl of popcorn seasoned with copious amounts of salt and pepper and curled up to watch The Hurt Locker on my laptop. I had to remind myself to breathe at various times during the film – disarming bombs in Iraq is rather intense business. I loved the scene in the grocery store at the end of the film. Of course I did. Because I love grocery stores. But, also because I loved that the vast amount of cereal boxes symbolized the overwhelming number of choices we’re faced with everyday. So many choices. Not just in the aisles of our grocery stores, but everywhere. All the time. Maybe that’s why I find grocery shopping so comforting? I can make an educated choice based on ingredients, price and appearance. If I’m disappointed in my choice, I can take it back for a refund. Ohhh, if only life were that simple.

I fell asleep to the sound of the rain that just won’t quit. Evidently, the sun has gone missing this past week. I know I’m of Seattle roots and I shouldn’t let the gloom get me down. But alas, the gloom has got me down…pinned to the ground…in a headlock. Brutal. So, this afternoon, upon returning from my daily caffeinefixjobhuntingsession at Bernie’s, my friendly neighborhood coffee shop, I pulled the leftover salad from the fridge. I was feeling uninspired, cursing my dark mood and chalking it up to SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a real thing. I swear. I found a box of couscous in the cupboard, whipped up a small bowl with a dash of red pepper flakes for a little kick and added it to my salad for heartier meal. Turns out it was just what the doctor ordered. It cured my SAD right on up. And the elusive sun poked out from beneath the clouds just as I took my last bite.

Moroccan Winter Salad

Serves 2 as a first course

1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into small chunks

1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into small chunks (If you want a sweeter salad, swap out the grapefruit and replace it with two oranges.)

Juice from half a lemon

Juice from half a lime

1 or 2 tablespoons mustard (I like Plochman’s or another brand of stone ground)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Dash of ground cumin

Couple handfuls of arugula

  • Place the avocado and grapefruit chunks in a medium bowl.
  • Combine the fresh lemon and lime juice, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin in a cup or jar and gently toss with avocado and grapefruit.
  • Place a handful of arugula on a plate and top with avocado grapefruit mixture, spooning dressing over the fruit.
  • Add cooked couscous, farro or wheat berries for a toothsome, more filling, SAD obliterating meal. And, if you have ’em, I think a handful of pomegranate seeds would be a lovely complement.

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