Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tender Greens and Vegetables with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

I have a soft spot for blood oranges.  They seem like the passionate, long-lost cousin of the regular orange.  They have a depth of flavor that is quite distinctive from their more common relative, and their color is stunningly beautiful.  What's not to love?

Well they're in season right now, so it seemed the perfect time to buy a bag full from my farmer's market and make use of them.  First up - this lovely salad, which is elegant and delicious.  I chose to use watercress for the greens, but use whatever tender greens you like.  I love the slightly peppery bite and yet tender leaf of fresh watercress, and it went very well with the delicious dressing in this salad.

This recipe is another example of the sheer pointlessness of bottled salad dressing.  It's so easy to make your own, and it tastes so much better.  Give this one a try and see if you agree.  Traditionally the ratio of oil to acid is a bit higher, but in this case I chose to go with more acid and less oil.  The blood orange juice is so gorgeous, you don't want to overshadow it with oil.

Tender Greens and Vegetables with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
adapted from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook
serves 3


3 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
4 cups mixed tender greens, washed and dried
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon grated zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 blood orange
1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1.  Blanch the green beans briefly in salted boiling water, about 3 minutes.  Drain and shock in an icy water bath.  Drain again and dry.

2.  Put the beans, greens, and bell pepper in a large bowl.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the zest, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Stream in the oil slowly, whisking all the while.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.


1 comment:

  1. Delightful ~ Fresh and Easy! Haven't I heard that expression before?