Tangerine and Avocado Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Full disclosure: Alex and I used to be editors at the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn's independent student newspaper. For 40 hours per week for one year we served as Senior Photo Editor (him) and City News Editor (me). Because we harbor such strong love for our former co-workers, who will surely post comments after reading this, we have a weekly gourmet club in which each of us takes turn cooking a meal for the others. Tonight was my turn, so this recipe and some of the ones that follow it were cooked for the lovely occasion, themed for Halloween.

This salad is of mostly of my own invention, with help from numerous recipes online. Because most of my meal involved serious flavors, I wanted to start especially light. The toasted pumpkin seeds were a must, but I kept second-guessing my decision to go citrus. Still, I wanted something unexpected and, in the end, it was perfect. It was tangy but grounded by the salt of the pumpkin seeds, and I was very pleased with the dressing. This works beautifully as an opener to a very fall meal.

Ingredients (serves 10 as an appetizer):
1 bag baby romaine
1 bag spring mix
3 avocado, slices
4 tangerines, peeled and sectioned
10 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp tangerine zest
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar.

To toast the pumpkin seeds, I let them soak overnight in salt water and them roasted them at 400 for about 30 minutes, but there are millions of ways to do it. For the salad, combine the lettuces on plates. Top with slices of avocado, tangerine sections, and about a tbsp of the pumpkin seeds per serving. To make the dressing, wisk the olive oil, lemon juice and tangerine zest together, and season with salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar.