Winter Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Yesterday Tony and I went for our first hike since arriving in Utah. The trail is called The Living Room Trail because at the summit people have built chairs and benches out of flat, red stones. The hike was rated “moderate” and I found it to be a little more challenging than I expected!
I wore my new, Sorel boots that I decided were a worthy, winter investment in keeping my toes dry and while not a single drop of water invaded my socks, we had barely gone a quarter mile when we hit a long, uphill section of shaded trail that was nothing but smooth, ice. Tony was wearing his well-loved running shoes and the soles are soft and a little worn to say the least so much like the soft rubber on a snow tire, he went right on up with no problem.
The extremely hard soles of my shoes acted like a snowboard and I barely made headway before sliding back down in a crouched position, clinging to a passing tree root to stop the descent. This went on for a good five minutes at the end of which I was very muddy and beginning to get irritated when Tony intervened, came back and went behind me, pushing me as we went. This was great fun, for me at least, and we emerged from the shaded area to a dry trail and the rest of our hike.
Two hours later we made it back to the car, flushed from the fresh air and exertion and both with a strong craving for some vitamins. So we hit the grocery store and emerged with an exorbitant amount of citrus (It’s just coming back in season, yay!) and some greens.
We went back home and I discovered the bottle of balsamic vinegar I was sure we had was actually white wine vinegar and that the bottle of red wine vinegar was infused with pomegranate. This was an interesting discovery because the day before I had come home with a box of thin spaghetti that I would have sworn was fettuccini, and the day before that I came home with a six-pack of IPA that apparently was mango flavored and I had failed to notice (It was not delicious). All this to say I have resolved to up my attention levels at the grocery store and that, regardless of what kind of vinegar you have you’re still very likely to come out with a good salad dressing.
Now, about this citrus salad – If you have never supremed fruit before I must warn you it is a pain in the butt. However, if you master the technique you will feel very fancy and it will make up for all the membranes that your mother made you eat on your oranges because it was “good for you.”
However, if you’re in a hurry, don’t have a sharp knife or just don’t feel like you want to mess with delicately removing fruit from its walls, you can absolutely just peel an orange or cutie and toss those sections in the salad. You can even use a can of mandarin oranges, just make sure to drain them well and use some of the juice for your vinaigrette if you like. But do give this salad a whirl, it’s fancy enough for a date night or dinner guests, and just as delicious eaten by yourself, on your couch, in sweatpants. P.S It’s especially good when followed by four, chocolate chip cookies.