Speaking of resolutions, another one I made was to re-instate Meatless Mondays and Farmers Market postings. This post combines both in one. The mache in this post is from a local farmers market. I love the idea of soup and salad or panini and soup, Panera style. Sometimes, I like my own version of it. Healthy, organic when possible and beautiful in season ingredients make lunching an elated experience.
I have my go to vinaigrette you can find here but for months now I've been playing and experimenting with different combinations for vinaigrettes. When I saw these gorgeous firm crimson blood oranges their skin all blushed at whole Foods, first in years that looked like they were just plucked from the trees in the orchard, my game plan shifted to citrus vinaigrette. We grew up on citrus and Jaffa oranges. Blood oranges we peeled and ate just like any other citrus that came into our house. Not much cooking with it. This blood orange was delicious on its own, I forgot how distinct and unique its flavor and aroma are relative to other citrus. While Meyer lemons were all the rage with me last year and will be classic for years to come, this year I choose blood oranges. You can find a list of my Meyer lemon posts here.
I like to add sections of the oranges into the salad seeing the outline of the juicy plump pulp. Citrus vinaigrettes can be tricky, I do not like them too thin, I like them emulsified. Problem is there are very few emulsifiers, mayonnaise is really not a viable option, but adding too much mustard can overpower the citrus essence.
For the longest time now I also wanted to incorporate sumac into a salad and the dressing. This classic Mediterranean ingredient, the Sumac best known in the Lebanese salad Fattoush, will pair beautifully with citrus. It's an amazing ingredient that sort of reminds me of Indian Kokum notes, lemony, tart, I wrote about here. While the Kokum is a fruit of a tropical coastal South East Asian evergreen tree, the sumac is the berries of a shrub or a small tree used primarily in Middle Eastern cuisines. You can find a brief 411 on sumac with a pretty pic here. Sumac can be found in any Middle Eastern store or online here.
Flavors of blood orange, sumac, mint and the peppery mache are very harmonious.
Thank you all for your votes on the pics natural vs. black.Mache, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad with Citrus, Sumac, Champagne Vinaigrette:
Blood Orange, Sumac and Champagne Vinaigrette Ingredients: