Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tangerine & Greens Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Plate of Dressed Salad
Tangerines, Spinach, Arugula = Bright, Delicious, and Healthy

Recipe adapted from Field of Greens

Today marks the second year since I started Seasonal Eating and I’d like to thank each and every one of my readers, Facebook fans, and especially my followers…349 posts later! Normally I’d bake a cake to celebrate, but I’ve already posted both Meyer Lemon Cake and Ginger Frosted Pineapple Cake this month--and Bourbon Pecan Cake shortly before that. So for the sake of balance, I’ll get back to our March theme of keeping our immune systems strong by enjoying high nutrient foods disguised as delicious dishes. Spring arrives tomorrow, and a light and sunny salad seems like the perfect way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring. Tangerines won’t be available much longer, so let’s grab the last of them now, to use in both the salad and the dressing.

Bowl of Greens with Tangerines, Onions, tangerine juice, tangerine zest, and grated ginger on the side
Spinach Plus Colorful Ingredients
Leave it vegetarian pioneer chef Annie Somerville at Greens Restaurant to provide the perfect recipe for healthfulness disguised as deliciousness. Her idea is to combine sweet spinach, bitter greens, and bright tangerines, and top them with ginger-sesame flair. Annie uses frisee, so feel free to substitute that or any bitter green for the arugula. Change up the proportions of spinach, bitter greens, and tangerines if you like. Or use a larger amount of mature spinach and remove the stems. You could also try a base of shredded cabbage (Napa or green) for a simpler and cheaper salad.

Salad arranged in large wooden bowl sprinkled with sesame, with dressing on side
Salad Fresh as Spring
Note that Greens removes all the seeds and white stuff from the tangerine sections in this salad. This is time consuming, but IMO worth the effort. You can choose to remove less of the bitter white stuff, if time is short, but it the dish won’t look as pretty. Try to use sweet tangerines without many seeds, like Mineolas, Satsumas, or Fairchilds.

The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp. light olive oil. I’ve substituted 1 tbsp.walnut oil plus 1 tbsp. water. You can use any light oil, but it’s important to pair it with toasted sesame oil, which gives the dressing much of its character. I added a teaspoon of sweetener to the Greens’ dressing, but you could skip that.

Enjoy the last day of winter. Next time we (virtually) meet, it will be spring here in the Northern Hemisphere!

Arugula and Spinach with Tangerines, Ginger, and Onion
A Few Main Salad Ingredients
Spinach Tangerine Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
serves about 8

~8 oz, bunch of arugula
~9 oz. baby spinach
2 oz. red onion (1 small)
rice vinegar (for sprinkling)
4 tangerines, or to taste
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1¼ tsp. tangerine zest (~1)
2 tbsp. tangerine juice (~1)
2 tsp. grated ginger
2½ tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. walnut oil
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. agave or thin honey (optional)

Wash arugula and remove tough stems. Tear into bite sized pieces and dry in salad spinner. Blot off remaining moisture with kitchen towel. You will have about 3.5 oz. after removing the stems.

Wash baby spinach (if not pre-washed). Dry in salad spinner. Blot off remaining moisture with kitchen towel. Mix greens together in salad bowl and refrigerate.

Thinly slice red onion. Toss onion with rice vinegar in small bowl and set aside to bring out color. Refrigerate when pink.

Peel and section tangerines. Remove all seeds, pith, and white threads. Refrigerate tangerines.

Toast sesame seeds by heating over medium low in a skillet. Stir frequently until fragrant and lightly and evenly golden brown. Remove to plate right away to avoid overcooking.

Combine all dressing ingredients except tangerine zest in immersion blender cup: tangerine juice, grated ginger, rice vinegar, walnut oil, water, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and agave or honey. Blend until smooth. (You can use a traditional blender instead.) Stir in tangerine zest. Pour into decanter to serve with salad.

In salad bowl, arrange tangerines and red (pink) onions on top of greens. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp. sesame seeds.

Serve with dressing and remaining 2 tsp. sesame seeds on the side.

Individual plate of salad
Salad Day: Celebrating Two Years of Blogging

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