While Winter weather may get us down, one of the best things this time of year is the incredible citrus fruits we can get from the warmer zones in North America. The weather in Florida has been so bizarre this year that we're lucky to be getting any good citrus at all and we should all do our best to buy whatever is available. One of the stars of January is Cara Cara oranges. Have a look at my gorgeous "Cara Cara Orange Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette" that truly celebrates this fruit at its peak.
Cara Cara oranges are so sweet and unique that once you've had one, you'll scour them every time they're in season, looking for them at every market stand and grocery store. They look like a Naval orange from the outside but when you slice them open, you know it's something different. They have a rosy pink or deep salmon colored flesh. They taste similar to a blood orange or a sweet tangerine, and have such a full, robust, low-acid "orangeness" that they quickly become addictive. Treat them simply and well and you will be stunned at how good they are. This quick and elegant salad is sure to be a stunner and works great as either an appetizer or a closing-meal palate cleanser. Whatever you do - don't complicate their flavor or overwhelm them. Start with their baseline sweetness and add some seasoning, saltiness, crunchy texture and maybe a little bitter. That's exactly what I did how and it was stunning. Enjoy this at your next dinner party this month!
3 Cara Cara oranges, peeled and sliced thinly in rounds reserve 1/2 an orange for dressing
6 small green olives with buttery flavor, pitted and chopped
1/8 c. unsalted raw pistachios, ground with food processor
3 tsp. Cara Cara orange juice, squeezed
2 T. grapeseed oil
Maldon Sea Salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1 - 2 T. water
1) Peel and slice the oranges, reserving half of one orange for the dressing. Pit and chop the olives and set aside.
2) Grind the pistachios in a processor or with an immersion blender. Place pistachios in a bowl and sprinkle the 3 tsp. of orange juice from half the orange into the bowl. Add the grapeseed oil, sea salt, white pepper and whisk to incorporate. Add a tablespoon or two of water, in order to be able to pour or spoon the dressing. You want it thick, but liquid enough to drizzle.
3) Place the orange slices on a plate, fanning out. Sprinkle the green olives over the oranges. Drizzle the pistachio vinaigrette over the salad with a spoon. Serve immediately and enjoy!