At first bite, you’ll crunch into bitterness. Halfway through chewing that bite, the dressing spanks you with sweetness. Here’s how you’re going to create this blood orange salad.
- Acquire blood oranges. If your parents have a blood orange tree in their back yard, rock on.
- Toss bitter leaves, tart blood oranges, and herbs in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Top with delicious nuts and cheese.
- Pour syrup over the salad, effectively negating the bitter tartness.
I adapted this recipe closely from Yotam Ottolenghi’s bittersweet Salad from his cookbook Plenty. I’m not sure of its location in the book because I snatched the recipe before I gave the book to my sister for Christmas. You’ll have to investigate the page number for yourself.
- 4 blood oranges
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 2 small heads radicchio, outer layer removed, cut in quarters, core removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
- Coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
The most time consuming part of the process involves reducing the juice to syrup. Here’s what to do. Squeeze the juice from two of the blood oranges into a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat over a low flame, stirring regularly for about 20 minutes until the volume of liquid is halved. Do not allow the mixture to boil or scald on the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, cut the two remaining blood oranges into sections. Do this by slicing off the top and bottom of each orange. With a chef’s knife, cut off the skin and pith in longitudinal sections. When you have skinned the orange, make a cut on each side of the membranes holding the red (get it? bloody) flesh together, cutting wedges of blood orange for the salad. To reduce waste, squeeze any residual juice from the now-fleshless membranes into the saucepan while the syrup is simmering.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the radicchio leaves, blood orange segments, parsley, olive oil, and generous amounts of coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
When the volume of syrup has reduced to about half, remove the pan from heat, pour through a fine-meshed strainer to filter out residual orange pulp, and add the orange blossom water. Let this mixture about 5 minutes so it’s less scalding.
To prepare the salad for serving, place a few scoops of tossed leaves onto each plate. Dot each plate with a few tablespoons of goat cheese, toss on a sprinkling of chopped toasted walnuts, and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of the syrup. Top with salt and pepper if your taste buds deem necessary.
Yeeeeah. Serves at least 4 as a side or appetizer salad.