When I am putting together new things to share with you, I find that a few posts in a row will follow a theme usually dictated by the season's current bounty. January was all about eating greens every which way and this month seems to be about apricots, peaches, pale rose.... not the edibles, but the colors.
Lately I've noticed that color is coming into play in my kitchen in a big and unintended way: last post I was dreaming of the warm glow of summer in the Corfu, and now I find myself instinctively drawn to a palate of blushing Cara Cara oranges, deep purple radicchio, and magenta shallots. And next week, I've got a little kumquat treat to share with you... again those colors are calling my name these days!
I've read of the importance of eating foods of all colors, not just for aesthetic reasons but for health. This instinct seems natural, so I think I'll just ride this rose colored wave until my body takes me in the next direction.
Note: this salad can be modified in many ways and this recipe is far from rigid or exacting... If you cannot get your hands on Cara Caras, use whatever navel oranges are at their peak at your market. And instead of almonds, roasted hazelnuts would be great here. And if you don't want to go to the effort of roasting the shallot, the salad will still be good.
INGREDIENTS makes 4 salads
- 4 shallots
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- 2 large heads of radicchio
- 1-2 Cara Cara oranges
- 1/2 cup dry roasted almonds
Preheat oven to 350.
Trim and peel shallots. Place peeled whole shallots in a small baking dish. Drizzle on a tablespoon or so of olive oil, a tiny splash of balsamic, and a sprinkle of salt. Using your hands, toss shallots to coat. Cover baking dish with tinfoil and place in the hot oven. After about 35 minutes, you can remove the tin foil, and roast the shallots uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Let the shallots cool to room temp, chop them up, place them in a small bowl, and cover them with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Let the shallots rest in the vinegar while you prepare your salad.
Clean and trim radicchio, making sure to discard any wilted exterior leaves. Remove core and chop radicchio into long ribbons and divide the ribbons evenly between 4 salad plates.
Peel and slice your Cara Cara oranges using the technique in the photos below. (Cut a slice off of each end of the orange, then using a carving knife, remove the peels in strips.) Slice the peeled Cara Caras and remove any seeds you see. Layer the sliced Cara Caras onto the radicchio.
Coarsely chop almonds and sprinkle them over the salads.
Add about 1/2 cup olive oil to your macerating shallots and whisk until you have a nice thick dressing. Add salt to taste.
Lightly drizzle dressing over the salads.