Orange groves neighborhood
I grew up in southern California and for a couple of my early grade school years our family lived across the street from an orange grove. That was back in the day when the San Fernando Valley had large parcels of land loaded with rows of orange trees. Laden with fruit, we children weren’t allowed to pick oranges as mom was clear they were owned by someone else. But we weren’t left wanting. My sister Sharon, and sometimes I tagged along, would buy large sacks of freshly picked oranges from an elderly lady who lived at the end of the block.
To this day I’m not sure if she was the owner or a kindly agent but we would visit her for a bit while making the transaction. My memory is that we paid $1 for a large brown paper grocery size sack of oranges picked that morning and lugged it home to share with the rest of our sibs. Sharon, is that the right price? It takes me back to memories of mom slicing the oranges in half and then carving the peel away from the cut edge for effortless eating. The oranges were so fresh that the juice would run all the way to your elbow. So sweet, it was a one ingredient dish direct from Mother Nature.
With a hint of honey, this refreshing citrus salad showcases the orange. Including the saucy dressing, it features the orange in three forms: segments, juice and zest. The dressing is brightly rich in flavor with the lemon adding sparkle and balance to the sweetness of the sauce. Nutritious and delicious, it’s perfect for a light and fragrant salad.
Recipe: Spinach Salad with Citrus
Prep Time: 7 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 6-8 servings | Level: Easy
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- dash of salt and pepper
- 5 oz baby spinach leaves, about 5 cups
- 1 orange cut in segments
- 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
1 Zest the orange and lemon. Juice the lemon.
2 Supreme the orange over a bowl to catch all the segments and the residual juice. Reserve segments for the salad.
3 In the bottom of a medium bowl, combine the orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil.
4 Add the spinach, orange segments, almonds and onion. Toss gently.
To supreme the orange, use a sharp knife to cut off the very top and bottom of the fruit. Cut the peel off following the shape of the fruit. Holding the orange in your hand, make a slice between the fruit segment and the membrane and continue freeing the segment from the membranes. Once all the sections are cut away, squeeze what is left over the bowl to release the rest of the juice. This will yield enough juice for the dressing.
- Exchange orange for blood orange for rich color. This would be a good color combination for Christmas.
- Serve on individual salad plates as a starter for dinner.
Inspiration – Giada DeLaurentiss
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: February 8, 2013