Wednesday, September 10, 2008

That's Not an Orange!

Over the weekend and in somewhat of a mad rush, I grabbed a sack of oranges from Costco with which to make an orange salad for my guests on Sunday.

As I am wont to do, I put anyone in range of the kitchen to work on dinner and one of the guests was set to peeling and slicing the oranges. As soon as she had cut into the first one, she told me, "This is not an orange."

I looked at it and sure enough, it was not. It had a very thick skin and the flesh was very juicy with segments that separated fairly easily in the manner of a clementine or tangerine. And in my haste to get home with the oranges, I totally overlooked the telltale nipple on the bottom of the fruit.

And on closer inspection, the bag that I grabbed read Mineola, which is a variety of tangelo, a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. I've eaten tangelos before, but only out of hand, generally peeled and eaten by segments like a tangerine.

This is the first time that I have made them into a salad and a fine salad it was. I share the recipe idea with you here:

Orange Salad

oranges, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
pine nuts, toasted
mint, finely sliced en chiffonade
feta cheese, crumbled
extra virgin olive oil

Arrange the oranges on a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter pine nuts, mint, and feta cheese over to your liking. Drizzle with honey and extra virgin olive oil.

For a more savory salad, I often scatter pitted olives over. Often I substitute either pistachios or almonds for the pine nuts. For a sweeter dessert course salad, I sometimes omit the feta cheese. And sometimes I scatter pomegranate seeds over. As you can see, this is a very free form salad that you can mold to your tastes and the ingredients on hand.

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