Serves 4 :
Summer is here and with that comes all sorts of fun fresh salads to tease and cool the taste buds. On hot summer nights rather than cooking, I look for ways to prepare fresh foods that are light and flavorful. After all ya gotta stay slim in summer J. While I can’t take credit for this recipe – it came from an Italian inspired cook book my mom gave me – it’s so simple and tasty I had to share it. Of course, there are some variations included which I’ve tested and loved. Once you’ve made this have fun; take the concept and run with it. Use your favorite fruits and herbs in whatever combinations you like to create your own magic. Hope you like this one!
- 2 blood oranges (any oranges will work but the blood orange adds great color)
- 3 – 4 fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup red onion slices (optional)
- 1 tbsp of EVOO
- coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- Remove the peel from the oranges using a paring knife. Be sure you remove all the pith or the white stuff which can be bitter and frankly just isn’t pretty. Cut the oranges crosswise, about 1/4 of an inch, to create a pin wheel type slice.
- Next chiffonade the basil leaves. Chiffonade is a fancy French culinary term for chopping stuff into ribbons; here’s how you do it. Stack the basil leaves on top of one another and then roll them tightly into a cigar shape. Now just slice that crosswise into 1/8 inch pieces and when you unroll and separate voila…you have thin, pretty basil ribbons.
- If you’re using the onion, slice it in half and remove the skin. Place the onion, cut side down and slice it crosswise as thinly as you can. You just need a few onions to top the oranges so you’ll need 3 – 4 slices.
- Arrange the oranges on a plate. Sprinkle the onions and basil on top. Drizzle with EVOO and dust lightly with salt and pepper.
- This makes a great first course to pasta dishes. You could also serve in between the main course and desert; it makes a great palate cleanser!
- To change it up a bit:
- Try swapping the oranges for nectarines…it’s a great summer substitute.
- Swap the basil for mint…they’re cousins and work well in place of each other in most cases.
- Drizzle a little reduced balsamic over the top; to make it just stick some in a pan and reduce by half.
- Swap the salt for crumbled goat cheese. Creamy and oh so yummy!