I find food blogging to be so utterly rewarding. Not only do I get to take photos of food, I get to eat said food afterwards. Taste-buds aside, there is something new to learn all the time. I found myself googling “oranges” the other day…before I knew it, I was sucked into a black hole of information about this commodity fruit (or would it be an orange hole?). I’ll spare you the details (there are many). However, of note is that the common orange is actually a hybrid fruit; it’s a cross between a Pomello and a Mandarin, hybridized over multiple generations. Oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature in 314 BC and, around 1987, oranges were determined to be the most cultivated fruit in the world.
I didn’t know until now.
For several days, I had been searching for blood oranges because my dreams had been filled with this salad recipe I’m sharing today. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have finally located these gorgeous gems. Blood oranges, and navel oranges in particular, are in season, although several orange varieties are available year round. The beautiful, deep magenta of the blood orange is unmistakable; and yes, it’s flavour has a subtle, yet gorgeous, ‘sweet red wine’ taste. Blood oranges are red from a pigment called anthocyanin, which is also in cherries, red cabbage, blueberries, pansies and aubergines. Anthocyanin is reported to have many health benefits as a powerful antioxidant.
My desire with this recipe was to show off the beauty of the winter citrus season with three types of oranges, all of varying shades and flavours (some sweeter than others). Not to mention, citrus and greens are excellent flavour and nutritive companions. This dressing is somewhat Asian inspired, featuring the flavours of fresh ginger, earthy sesame and savory miso; it pairs perfectly against the sweet citrus and bitter greens. This recipe is a wonderful way to incorporate this season’s bountiful nutrition into your day and add a touch of sweetness to this late February.
I hope you are having a good week, resting when you can, and learning something new each day…
CITRUS + TENDER GREENS w/ MISO GINGER DRESSING
- 5 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups arugula
- 3 scallions chopped
- 3 small blood oranges peeled and sliced width-wise 1/2" thick
- 2 cara cara red navel oranges, peeled and sliced width-wise, 1/2" thick
- 1 navel orange peeled and sliced width-wise, 1/2" thick
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
- 1 " piece of fresh ginger root
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp miso paste red or white
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- pinch of salt
Prepare the dressing:
in a high powered blender or food processor, add all the dressing ingredients and blend on high until smooth and well combined. Pout into a reusable storage container with a lid until ready to use. This makes approximately 1 cup of dressing with enough for the salad and some to spare.
Make the Salad:
Using a large bowl or serving plate, layer the baby spinach, arugula and orange slices. Top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds if using. Drizzle on a portion of the dressing (as much as desired) and enjoy.
if you cannot source these orange varieties, use whatever variety you can find.