Recipe: Blood Orange, Date, Parmigiano and Almond Salad
Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts
This post written by our Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone that while the calendar may show spring on the horizon, those of us that live in the Seattle area know we’ll be turning another page (at least) in our calendars before the change of seasons really takes hold. So it doesn’t seem right to go on about a salad when we are still in need of hearty dishes to warm our bones.
In fact, I wasn’t even going tell you about it, but since my friends were so enthusiastic and I can’t stop thinking about it, I thought maybe I should. Besides, this is not a get ready to wear tee-shirts and shorts, embrace all things green type salad. In fact, I only call it a salad because I added enough extra greens to make it one.
adapted from “Sunday Suppers at Lucques”
- ½ cup Marcona almonds (or toasted almonds)
- 15 dates, halved and pitted
- 4 large blood oranges
- 1/4-lb Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 Tbsp pure almond oil or good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 8 oz arugula
- Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the stem and blossom ends from the blood oranges. Stand the blood oranges on one end and, following the contour of the fruit with your knife, remove the peel all the white pith, working from top to bottom and rotating the fruit as you go. Slice each orange into approximately 1/4” thick pinwheels.
- Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave 15 or so large thin slices of cheese from the chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Whisk the oil and vinegar together until emulsified and lightly dress the arugula. Scatter the arugula on a large platter and arrange orange slices, dates, cheese, and nuts on top. Season lightly with fleur de sel and pepper and serve.
In reality this is much more of a soul-satisfying side dish that can really only be enjoyed in winter, when ruby red Moro blood oranges are at their peak. The idea (I can hardly call it a recipe) came by way of “Sunday Suppers at Lucques,” restaurateur Suzanne Goin’s scrumptious cookbook which is now 6 years old and still maintains front row status on my kitchen shelves. It is full of recipes for just the kind of meal you want to relax around on the weekend, and I love its treasure trove of inspiration that the abundance of stunning photography never fails to deliver.
Yet somehow I’ve flipped past this particular stunning “recipe” for half a dozen winters before deciding to give it a try. It seems I should have realized sooner this melding of flavors would be nothing short of fabulous….what can I say, sometimes the obvious eludes me. But now that I’ve realized the combination of arugula, blood oranges, dates, almonds and Parmigiano come together into something even more amazing than the sum of their parts, you can be sure I’ll be plating it up at every opportunity until those blood oranges give way to my next perennial favorite – whatever that may be.