Orange and Chevre Sunshine Salad is Pretty, Fast and Delicious.
These are the guiding principles when I cook. Take this salad, for example. It’s so easy to buy a big bag or box of pre-washed mixed greens, spinach or arugula. I like arugula for it’s peppery, fresh taste, but any combination of greens or lettuce will do.
Choose some colorful, seasonal additions. In wintertime that means oranges: blood oranges, sumo mandarines, navels and clementines. Sweet, plentiful clementines are easy to peel and slice into rounds or segments.
For extra color, take a handful of dried cherries (or your favorite dried fruits). Peel the oranges over the cherries to soften them before adding the fruit to the salad. You can prep the orange and cherry mixture the night before serving to get the cherries really plump. Sliced red grapes and toasted chopped pecans add additional color and crunch.
|Add drama by rolling a small log of goat cheese in herbs.|
Add some sunshine to your next meal.
I’m heading back to the salad bowl now – for seconds!
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
- 1 T honey
- 1 t Dijon mustard
- 1 T orange juice
- 1 T grated orange zest
- 2 T light olive oil
- ¼ t kosher salt
- 1¼ t coarse ground pepper, divided
- *6 clementine or 3 navel oranges
- 2 oz. dried cherries
- 1-cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 large bunch or package fresh mint leaves
- 4 oz. log plain goat cheese/chèvre
- 4 cups (5 oz.) arugula
- ½ cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
- *Set aside one orange or two clementine to use for the dressing.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, and ¼ t each salt and pepper. Cover until ready to serve. (Shake well before serving and refrigerate leftovers.)
- Prep fruit: Place cherries and cut grapes in a medium size bowl. Slice off both ends of the oranges. Follow the curve of the fruit to peel away the skin and white pith. Slice the clementine into rounds. Cut larger oranges into quarters, lengthwise and slice in between the membranes into segments. Discard any seeds. Add orange slices and juices on top of the cherries and grapes. Cover and refrigerate or set aside if using immediately. (Drain the juice before adding to the salad.)
- Make the goat cheese log: Be sure cutting board, knife and herbs are completely dry before chopping. Finely chop ¼ cup mint. Scatter herbs +1 t coarse ground pepper onto a piece of parchment into a rectangle roughly the size of the goat cheese log. Roll the log in mint and pepper several times to cover sides and both ends completely. Roll log tightly into plastic wrap and freeze for 25- 30 minutes. Once frozen, cut log into 8 slices. (Start by slicing in half, then half again and so on to get 8 evenly cut pieces). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assemble: In a large bowl, combine arugula with drained fruits and toss lightly with dressing. Sprinkle pecans on top. Serve chèvre on the side or add a few slices to each salad plate. Serve with additional chopped mint, if desired.