Saturday, January 29, 2011

Citrus for Christmas, & Why We Can't Put Anything Else in the Fridge

I lived in Florida for almost 30 years, so it makes sense that anything citrus makes me happy.  From zest to juice to pulp to blossom, everything about this fabulous fruit sings.  Each Christmas, I ask for citrus from Florida, where much of my family still lives.  But I am a person of little faith.

What if the citrus gets lost in the mail?   What if they decide to buy me something different this year?

It starts with a small purchase at our local grocery store.  Then I have some shipped from an organic grove in Florida.  You know, just in case...   And then the gift 'o citrus gets here. 

Our fridge is usually pretty full, but around December it's ridiculous.  My husband, Larry, is very patient with this, since he knows how a salad of orange and grapefruit segments can banish my winter crankiness (at least for a few minutes) and he knows I'll look for new recipes to use up the, er, surplus.  Tonight's recipe was searched for with that in mind, and it is a keeper! 

Fennel, Quinoa, Orange, Walnut and Basil Salad
from Big Oven
(I halved most of the ingredients, and there was still plenty to serve four as a side dish.)
3 c cooked quinoa
1 c chopped fennel bulb
2 tb minced shallot
1 tsp grated lemon rind  (used all called for)
1 tsp grated orange rind (used all called for)
1/4 c chopped fresh basil* (used all called for)

2/3 c fresh orange juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil  (used all called for, and then drizzled on a little more)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 c orange sections
1/4 c chopped walnuts, toasted (used all called for)

1.  Mix first six ingredients in a large bowl (quinoa through basil).
2.  Whisk juices, oil, salt, pepper in a small bowl.
3.  Pour dressing over quinoa mix, stir to coat.  Add orange sections and walnuts, stir gently to combine.

*If you're not going to serve right away, wait until just before serving to chop and mix in basil, so it doesn't blacken.  The dressing slows it down, but doesn't prevent it.

Serve the quinoa salad with braised Swiss Chard and chicken "rollatini" with a quick lemon pan sauce(chicken breast pounded thin and rolled up around roasted red pepper, basil leaves, and goat cheese).  Or just serve it with a fork.  You might not miss the other stuff.

1 comment:

Missie said...

That meal sounds fabulous!