In the Kitchen: A Local, Wild & Organic Start to 2014

This time of year brings us many delicious delights, such as local, juicy citrus and flavor-packed wild and local arugula. Take advantage of the season’s best, and kick off 2014 with these fantastic salads.

Winter Salad with Seedless Satsuma Mandarins and Pomegranates

This simple side salad bursts with flavor that will brighten a blustery winter day. Adapted from Health. Serves 4.

Winter Salad with Satsuma Mandarins and Pomegranates IMG_1216_c_sm

Ingredients:

  • 4 Satsuma Mandarins, segmented*
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Cara Cara Vanilla white balsamic
  • 2 tsp. honey, such as Honey Hole Honey Co.’s orange honey
  • 1 tsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-7 cups (about 6 oz.) mixed winter salad greens, such as baby spinach, arugula, romaine and endive
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/4 -1/2 a pomegranate), divided
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pecans or walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cheese, such as a mild Feta (i.e. Athenos), or a mild, creamy chevre (goat) (i.e. Laura Chenel)
  • Pepper, if desired

*Segmenting Citrus: It takes time and patience but is well worth the effort! To do this, cut the top and bottom off of your citrus fruit. Slice the peel from the fruit, top to bottom, getting as close to the flesh as possible. Once the peel is removed, slice any remaining pieces of white pith from the fruit so no white remains. Then, slice closely along the sides of each membrane to neatly remove the citrus segments in between. And there you have it!

Directions: Segment* 3 Satsumas; set aside. Juice the remaining Satsuma (to get about 1/3 cup juice)

Whisk together juice, balsamic and honey in a small bowl. Pour oil in slowly, whisking well until the mixture is emulsified.

In a large bowl, add the salad greens and half of the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle on about 1/4 cup of the juice mixture and toss gently until all the leaves are well coated. Add more dressing if needed.

Transfer to a serving bowl or divide salad among 4 plates. Arrange Satsuma segments on the top, then sprinkle with the pecans, cheese and remaining pomegranate seeds. Serve with remaining orange dressing on the side. Season with pepper, if desired.

Blood Orange and Wild Arugula Salad with Slow Roasted Golden Beets, Blue Cheese & A Tangerine Balsamic Vinaigrette


The sweet earthiness of the golden beets, along with the salty blue cheese, nutty arugula and tangy blood oranges make this salad a virtual party in your mouth. Makes 4 generous salad portions. Adapted from Veronica Foods.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups wild arugula
  • 3 medium-sized organic golden beets
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 TBL water
  • 1 1/2local blood oranges, the whole one peeled and divided in to segments*, the remaining half juiced
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s tangerine balsamic
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press So. Hemisphere Leccino extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup, blue cheese, crumbled (such as Nauvoo Blue)

Beet-and-blood-orange-salad_veroinca-foods

*Segmenting Citrus: It takes time and patience but is well worth the effort! To do this, cut the top and bottom off of your citrus fruit. Slice the peel from the fruit, top to bottom, getting as close to the flesh as possible. Once the peel is removed, slice any remaining pieces of white pith from the fruit so no white remains. Then, slice closely along the sides of each membrane to neatly remove the citrus segments in between. And there you have it!

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Scrub the beets removing any debris, roots and green parts. Place the beets on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fully enclose the beets in to a package. Drizzle the beets with a TBL of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and 1 TBL of water. Seal the package by crimping the foil. Roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool and then peel. Cut the beets in to six wedges and set aside.

Just before serving, whisk the blood orange juice with the tangerine balsamic and a pinch of salt. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil while whisking constantly to make a vinaigrette. In a large bowl, gently toss the arugula with 1/2 of the vinaigrette and then arrange on a plate or platter. Arrange the blood orange segments, golden beet wedges and blue cheese over the arugula. Drizzle the rest of the vinaigrette over the top, sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Wild Arugula, Fennel & Sweet Pomegranate Salad

“I made this salad for a large family dinner and loved how the citrus and vinegar balanced so well with the olive oil to make a wonderful dressing for this flavorful salad.”

– Carmelo Sigona 

For the salad:

  • Large fennel bulb (Fennel is also known as sweet anise. Choose a nice, heavy round one; they’re meatier.)
  • 2 TBL fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
  • 2 TBL fresh-squeezed juice from a local, organic Satsuma mandarin (about 1 large mandarin)
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 3 large handfuls of wild arugula (I like the wild arugula, it has a nuttier taste and the texture is a bit more delicate)
  • Seeds from 1/2 a local large pomegranate (see Robbie Sigona’s demo on how to remove seeds)
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

For the dressing:

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press So. Hemisphere Leccino extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBL white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBL fresh-squeezed lime juice (about half of 1 large lime)
  • 1 TBL fresh-squeezed juice from a local, organic Satsuma mandarin about half of 1 large mandarin)
  • 1 tsp zest from a local, organic Satsuma mandarin
  • Salt & pepper

Directions for the salad: Remove stalks and fronds from fennel, reserving the fronds for garnish. Cut the bulb in half and core out the tough bottom root section. Thinly slice; a mandolin slicer works great, you also could slice with a sharp knife

In a shallow bowl, mix together the lime and mandarin juice. Slice red onion very thinly (a mandoline slicer here also works great) and marinate in the juice for 5 minutes.

Squeeze out the juice from the red onion, discard the juice. Place slices in a large mixing bowl, then add in wild arugula and sliced fennel, toss to mix well.

Directions for the dressing: In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

Assembly: Pour dressing over salad (use only what amount of dressing that works for you and save overage for another day). Toss to mix well.

Place mixture in individual plates or large serving plate, top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with a few delicate fennel fronds.

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