in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Orange Salad; Cucumber Dill Salad

Sorry about the hiatus -- Christmas was very busy this year and I didn't cook all that much. But I am getting in the swing of things again. The first salad recipe I made up because I wanted to use some lovely oranges I had on hand, and needed a light tasting accompaniment to a buffalo meat loaf I was serving. It turned out great. The second salad is my version of a staple from Austria via my son-in-law. Both salads are light and refreshing, fast and easy.
 Winter Orange Salad

3 cups orange sections
½ cup cranberries
2 large stalks celery
2 medium kiwis

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon grated ginger root
¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sugar
dash ground red pepper
2 tablespoons grape seed oil

Place orange sections into a serving bowl. Clean cranberries, chop roughly and add to oranges. Dice celery into ¼ inch pieces and add to salad. Peel and slice kiwi then cut slices into fourths and add as well. Make dressing by combining all ingredients except for oil and stirring well. Then whisk in oil. Pour over orange mixture and stir to distribute.

Hints: Sectioning citrus fruit is easiest if you first cut off the peel with a sharp knife then hold the fruit in your left and slice next to the membrane on the right of one section. Then take the knife and slice down the left side and allow to drop into bowl. Turning the fruit to the right, slice through the left side of next section and scrape the right side free in one motion allowing it to drop into the bowl. Continue with remaining sections. It is a fairly fast process once you get the hang of it. Check the salt and sugar levels of the vinaigrette to suit your taste. I wanted a savory flavor for this salad rather than a sweet one.

Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/8 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon dry dill

Slice cucumbers thinly, peeled or unpeeled. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Toss lightly. Allow to drain for about 10 minutes. Mix sour cream, yogurt and dill in bottom of a serving bowl. Add drained cucumbers and toss to coat.

Hints: Hot house cukes are ok but garden fresh cukes are better. Fresh dill is also nice. I use low fat sour cream and fat free yogurt. I like the cucumbers better if I slice them really thin--almost shaved rather than sliced--the photo is of a time they were not so thin. Other options include adding thinly sliced scallions or onions; garlic and/or lemon juice and zest; thin red bell pepper slices. You can make the salad creamier by doubling the dressing ingredients. Another possibility is dicing the cucumber rather than slicing. I have also made it with julienned cukes and that is nice for some presentations.

I feel the need to lighten up my meals this time of year, after the rich holiday foods and these two salads are perfect for that. A happy and healthy new year to you all.



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  2. I bet that orange salad would work with mangos or other fruits of the same "venue"

  3. Now, I love DC. But why would I move here? Your cooking is there. I'm sad I missed the buffalo meatloaf. How did you grind the meat?