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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Onion Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

I've been on a major citrus kick lately, buying a large bag of oranges at the grocery store each week and plowing my way through them. Throughout my high school years I drank a lot of calcium-fortified orange juice, and I think I got burnt out on the flavor. Lately I have completely rediscovered my love for the juicy fruit. I don't know if oranges this season are exceptionally good or if I'm still remembering just how nasty the oranges in the college dining hall were.

When I came across this salad recipe on my Whole Foods app, I was intrigued and knew I had to try it. After coming home from a vacation full of heavy eating, I was ready for some lighter meals and this seemed to fit in that category. I planned to top the salad with grilled chicken breast, but discovered we were without. However, I think that would be a yummy, protein-filled addition to make this a more substantial meal!

I've posted the original Whole Foods recipe below, which serves 6. A few notes, however, based on what I did differently (besides adjusting the quantities to serve the two of us):
-My store was without butter lettuce so I used all spinach--it was still great this way!
-The dressing was good but needed salt & pepper; add to taste
-To make the dressing, I just juiced an orange, rather than trying to "catch the juices" while cutting the orange

One Year Ago: Mixed Citrus Greens Salad

Sweet Onion Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
adapted from Whole Foods Market
*serves 6

-1 large head butter lettuce, chopped into pieces
-2 cups baby spinach
-1 sweet yellow onion (1/8 of it finely chopped, the rest thinly sliced)
-3 apples, cored and diced
-3 large oranges
-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-2 tsp honey
-1/3 cup canola oil
-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
-4 pieces of pita bread, cut into wedges and toasted

1. Place lettuce, spinach, sliced onions, and apples into a large bowl, tossing together. Set aside.
2. Peel oranges and, working over a bowl to catch juices, cut between the membranes to remove oranges in sections. Reserve juice in bowl and transfer orange sections to bowl with spinach.
3. In the bowl with the orange juice, add finely chopped onions, vinegar, mustard, and honey, whisking together. Continue to whisk constantly and add oil in a steady stream until blended.
4. Toss salad with dressing and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately with toasted pita bread.