Moroccan salad of oranges and kalamata olives dressed in a spicy vinaigrette. Add peppery arugula and quinoa for a vegetarian main dish.
The topic for this month’s Bloghop is Citrus, which is a perfect theme for this time of year for two big reasons.
First, because I’m ready for lots of fruits and veggies after the holidays. I should add, that doesn’t mean I won’t be posting some citrus desserts this month, just that I’m not starting with one.
And second, because citrus is at it’s peak all over the country right now. Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes are the most common, and are at their sweetest, juiciest, and most nutritious this time of year. Best of all, now we also see mandarin oranges, tangerines, kumquats, Buddha’s hand, Meyer lemons, pomelos (a citrus fruit bearing a sweet, mild grapefruit flavor), and tangelos (a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo) popping up at the stores. If you’ve been aching to experiment with citrus, this is the time to strike the match of citrus creativity.
Nutrition Note: We all know citrus is loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients that are good for you, but here’s something you might not know: when adding citrus to nutritious greens, the citrus makes the good stuff from the greens more bioavailable. It’s one of those magical food combinations of 1 + 1 = 3. So anytime you’re choosing some kale, swiss chard, or collards, think about adding some citrus to the mix.
- Moroccan Orange Salad is a spicy salad that typically stars oranges and kalamata olives. But since I wanted to use this as a main dish, I included some greens and a grain. I chose fresh arugula, which goes great with the spicy flavors of this salad. And I used some cooked quinoa that I had in my refrigerator, which is a great match for anything citrus. I consider cooked grains to be one of my Pantry Items I keep in the refrigerator, making it easy to add to salads or veggie dishes for some protein.
- Navel oranges are great in this salad as they’re seedless, but you can use other seedless citrus in the same family.
- Since cooked quinoa is part of My Pantry, I have linked this ingredient to the recipe I use for cooking quinoa grain in My Pantry tab.
- There are two ways to serve this healthy salad: cut the oranges into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad; or slice into 1/4″ slabs. Lay the slabs on a plate and drizzle with some of the dressing. Heap the dressed salad on top of the orange slices.
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (I use Pimenton de la Vera)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, to taste
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large navel oranges
- 4 handfuls arugula (enough for two servings)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 large shallots, peeled and slivered
- 20 kalamata olives, halved
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
- zest of 1 large lime
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Make the dressing by whisking together the sherry wine vinegar, orange juice and spices until spices are dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.
- Slice off the top and bottom of the oranges. Setting them on their flat bottoms, carefully slice away the peel and pith, leaving the fruit completely intact. Slice the whole, peeled, oranges horizontally in ¼" slices. Slice into bite-sized pieces if desired.
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula, cooked quinoa, olives, shallot, mint leaves and lime zest. Add the orange slices and drizzle ½ the dressing over the mixture. Toss and add remaining dressing as desired.
- Heap on a plate and top with the feta cheese.