|Winning Combo: Oranges and Greens|
Recipe by Robin
It’s the end of orange season in California, and I’ve been trying all month to make a citrus glaze for chicken. My husband calls this “successive approximation” of a recipe. After several trials with “nearly delicious” results, I thought of a simpler orange idea: a salad with orange slices and orange dressing, inspired by the huge heads of red leaf lettuce we’ve been getting from our CSA.
Until recently I knew nothing about oranges. They tasted sour to me, so I never bought them. This past winter I started getting educated. According to my husband, a native Californian, Valencia oranges are classic juice oranges. Not only are they juicy, but more importantly the juice’s flavor doesn’t change much once it’s out of the orange. Navel oranges are also juicy, but the flavor becomes unpleasant if stored for more than a few hours. If you store freshly squeezed orange juice, refrigerate it and use it within a few days. On the US east coast, finding juice-able oranges is easier, since Florida’s best juicing oranges are known simply as juice oranges.
|The Main Reason for the Salad|
Individual oranges vary in juiciness, but I estimate you’ll need about 1½ oranges to make the dressing. Two oranges should do it, but buy an extra in case they’re dry, especially as it’s the end of the season.
You can cut this recipe in half or vary the proportions of fruits and veggies. Don’t skip the pumpkin seeds, though. They add a smoky, crunchy contrast to all the soft sweetness. Enjoy!
serves about 10
2 large heads red leaf lettuce
½ bunch cilantro, or more to taste
~ ¾ cup thinly sliced red cabbage
3 Cara Cara or other sweet oranges
3 tbsp. fresh Valencia orange juice
2 tsp. raspberry vinegar
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
¼ tsp. sugar
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp. walnut oil
2 dashes of salt
freshly ground pepper
Cut the bottoms off the lettuce heads and wash thoroughly to remove all dirt. Spin dry in a salad spinner. Blot off any remaining water with a kitchen towel and tear into bite-sized pieces. You will have about 9 cups. Put into salad bowl and chill in refrigerator.
Wash cilantro. Spin dry and remove leaves from stems. Chill.
If necessary, cut thinly sliced purple cabbage into bite-sized pieces. Chill.
Peel the oranges, removing as much of the white pith as you can. Separate into sections. Cut the sections that don’t look perfect into half. Reserve about 6 of the best-looking sections to top the salad. Chill.
Squeeze, strain, and measure the orange juice. Add raspberry vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt (very lightly) and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk together.
Whisk in oil. Chill dressing.
Add cilantro to lettuce in bowl, reserving a few leaves for the top. Add cut-up sections of oranges to the salad, reserving whole sections for the top. Add purple cabbage. Add half of the pumpkin seeds (2 tbsp.), reserving other half for top.
Toss salad until uniform.
Top with reserved oranges, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro.
Shake or stir dressing till uniform and add just before serving.