Blood! Blood Orange Salad on Bitter Greens




Continuing with my plague-inspired entries:
Blood is the first plague on Egypt. All the water turned to blood, killing the fish and making for some lousy tasting drip coffee. It would have been easy for me to go whimsical with this one (if you'd been to my apartment in Irvine, you might have seen a jar of homemade fake blood in the fridge) but I forced myself to do a straight recipe instead. The only "blood" here comes from the blood orange. I adapted this recipe from the Andalusian orange salad in Diana Henry's lovely "Crazy Water Pickled Lemons." It makes a great Passover salad because you get a bed of maror, or bitter herbs, symbolic of the bitterness of slavery, topped with oranges, dried fruit, nuts and sweet wine--echoing the Passover condiment, haroset, which represents the mortar used by the slaves to build. The sweet and pungent flavors compliment each other on the Seder plate and otherwise, as do the colors of the greens and the blood orange.
Blood Orange Salad on Bitter Greens

  • 5 blood oranges (regular oranges are OK too), peeled and sliced horizontally
  • 1/2 red onion, very finely sliced
  • 1/3 C raisins, currants, golden raisins, barberries, etc.
  • 1/4 C sherry. This time I used California madeira, marsala would work, Manischewitz would be great!
  • 1 T wine vinegar
  • Bunch of greens: In the past I've used arugula, watercress, or endive. This time I used mache, which is not as strongly flavored (but is also called "lamb's lettuce," which I felt was fitting)
  • bunch of mint (optional)
  • slivered, toasted almonds, for sprinkling.

Dressing:
  • 1 T wine vinegar (TJs used to carry a pomegranate vinegar which was perfect)
  • 3 T olive oil or walnut oil
  • reserved sherry from plumping raisins
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the raisins 1/4 sherry and 1 T vinegar in a small saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and let the raisins plump for about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Pour most the reserved liquid over the sliced onions and let them sit. This will remove some of their bite.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, adding about a spoonful of what's left of the reserved cooking liquid.
Arrange the greens and mint (if using) on plates. Add the orange slices and onion slices, then top with raisins and almonds. Drizzle with the dressing.


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