Monday, January 17, 2011

Mache, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad in Citrus, Sumac and Champagne Vinaigrette

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.

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Mache, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad with Citrus, Sumac, Champagne Vinaigrette:

Salad Ingredients
Bunch of mache (can use arugula or other green)
Blood orange sections
Pomegranates arils
Diced or sliced into ringlettes shallot
2 or more mint leaves to garnish or chopped
Sumac for garnish

Blood Orange, Sumac and Champagne Vinaigrette Ingredients:
Juice of 1 blood orange about 1/4 cup
1/2-1 Teaspoon country Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey, can be a heaping teaspoon
1 Tablespoon Champagne vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 Teaspoon sumac
1/3-1/2 Cup olive oil
Black pepper
Salt

Directions:
In a large bowl or individual bowls arrange mache, blood oranges, pomegranate arils, shallots and mint leaves. In a separate bowl emulsify all vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk. Toss vinaigrette with salad before serving, garnish with sumac. If plate is white you can decorate the rim with a sprinkle of sumac for an attractive presentation.

44 comments :

  1. So this is what you did with the blood oranges:) I love this kind of salads, fresh, easy, thrown together in last minute, great colors and bite.

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  2. Happy to hear that you will being doing more meatless Monday posts, I look forward to seeing those. I also like to eat blood orange straight as well, I don't see why they should be reserved solely for cooking or salads. I have never seen sumac in a vinaigrette like this before, I am most familiar with it being sprinkled over kebab.

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  3. That salad dressing sounds so refreshingly yummy. I absolutely love the addition of sumac in salads!

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  4. I'm just loving this salad recipe, Shulie!!!! This is a wonderful way to balance out all the heavy food we've had recently!

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  5. Shulie ~ i love these kinds of salads anytime but ESPECIALLY during the winter months when everything around me is quite bleak. that citrus reminds me of sunshine, warmer temps and lazy days perusing farmer's markets - beautiful!

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  6. That sounds amazing. I'm still annoyed that I've never seen a blood orange in person! They look so fun and different.

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  7. Those oranges are beautiful! And tasty looking salad too. Now I want some blood oranges. :)

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  8. What a beautiful salad, and love the flavor profile. This is a great salad to entertain with espeically with the vibrant colors.

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  9. What a fantastic sounding salad! And I love the use of pomegranate -- absolutely perfect for Tu BiShvat this week. :-)

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  10. Beautiful and it must be so light and refreshing!

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  11. Love all these flavors, Shulie -- citrus and pomegranate with mache. A beautiful winter salad! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  12. Lovely salad! Blood oranges, pomegranates & sumac..awesome flavors!

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  13. What a beautiful looking salad--so very nicely photographed. You're using some of my favorites here--from the mache to the sumac--and the citrus and pomegranate just take the salad to the top. Your go-to vinaigrette is very similar to mine but I'm really digging your version here, too. It's a winner!

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  14. first class salad and love the colors often add sumac to salad, got some in Turkey

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  15. Wow, what a beautiful and sophisticated combination. The oranges in particular are beautiful. Such a creative use of sumac, one of my faves. Just cooked with it today, in fact.

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  16. This looks beyond amazing. These are some of my favorite ingredients!

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  17. Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. For those of you who put sumac in their salads, Lick my Spoon and Rebecca, isn't it phenomenal?!..and those who didn't yet you won't regret it! Margaret, you are right it is a great salad for entertaining with. Deb, elle and Bri are right perfect for post holidays and Kulsum is right easy to toss together. Megan I hope you get blood oranges this season and Rach I hope you get them this winter of 2011 for teh first time! Cheapbeets, come to think of it, it is perfect for Tu B'Shvat. Hag Sameach!! Kat, Jun, Sara, you are right the colors and in season ingredients and flavor are pretty and tasty to freshen up mid-winter gloom. Thx Jean, funny our go-to vinaigrettes are similar but I am also digging this one:) Thx Bria for the compliment. It was a process to come up with the vinaigrette. Curious what did you make today with sumac? Thx Alison you are always sweet and gracious! Shulie

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  18. This is a gorgeous salad with beautiful, fresh flavors! I love all the colors! I purchased sumac, but have not used any yet. I now know what to do with it! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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  19. Sylvie, Thx for your nice words! I have never used sumac in kebabs but heard of it before. Chances are probably had it before without even knowing it:).
    Gwen, thanks you the salad is a sensation to the eye as well as the palate. Nice to have winter ingredients that will paint those colors. As you can see from my post and Sylvie's comment you can also use sumac in Fatoush and kebabs.
    Shulie

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  20. Your pictures look great! I love blood oranges, but have never tried them in a salad or a dressing. Sounds like a great idea.

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  21. I love my citrus vinaigrette not too thin as well. I'm adding a pair of blood oranges to grow in my little garden. Thanks for sharing this, Shulie!

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  22. Thanks Jennifer. It is really great although having it all on its own is very tasty too. Thanks Annapet!! Wow, it will be something if you grow blood oranges!! Twitpic when you got fruit!! Shulie

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  23. My mouth is literally watering...I just finished off some pomegranate arils this past weekend and now need to go on a hunt because I'm obviously not quite over them! Pared with the blood oranges, that alone is enough for me. Thanks Shulie...I think. Now I can only dream!!

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  24. Thanks Barb for dropping by and your comment. Loved out twitter conversation. I like your dipping fresh loaf of bread in olive oil and sumac we dip it in olive oil and za'atar. I hope you will be successful finding pomegranartes. Last I saw Costco still carries them, but it's a case as always!

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  25. ohhh...those colors! The flavors are incredible! I would love a bowl of that gorgeous salad right now for lunch;)beautiful post Shulie

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  26. A very refined and delightful salad! Magnificent and so healthy.

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  27. Such an elegant and refreshing salad, Shulie! Can't think of a better salad for this time of year than this!

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  28. Blood Orange, Sumac and Pom in one plate. I do not think anything can get better than this!! Beautiful fresh enticing photographs.

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  29. Wow are your blood oranges ever a gorgeous deep red! We can only find the orange ones here with barely a hint of red. And I love this combo of oranges and pomagranates with a savory salad. Lovely!

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  30. Thanks Lora, Rosa, Liren, Soma and Jaime, I was beside myself this season to find these vibrant blood oranges!! It was a process until I arrived to the combination profile but happy that I did even if it took time:). Thank you all for your sweet comments and support!! Shulie

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  31. Shulie, this salad is so pretty. I have not had any blood oranges in some time - but I think it is time to pick some up. They are such an elegant fruit. Beautiful post!

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  32. Tried it last night and it's one of the most refreshing and mouth watering salad. The thin but luscious vinaigrette coats the greens beautifully. I added avocado and that was a mouthful of heaven.

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  33. Drooling! Shulie, this looks amazing. Blood oranges are a favorite food here - I wish we had a tree or two (or, more accurately, I wish that we lived somewhere where a tree or two would survive the winter!).You've inspired me to try sumac with this post - thank you for sharing!

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  34. Thank you ken and Amy, Ken, Yay you tried the salad and the vinaigrette. Loved the idea of adding avocado I can see how it can complement the rest of the ingredients. Good point on the vinaigrette, I guess it depends on how much mustard you add. Also since it is a vinaigrette and it keeps well refrigerated, I made it a day in advance and it emulsified as it gets colder, shake and drizzle before serving. I noticed that the flavors intensify as time goes by. I am having the last of it tonight and cannot myself believe the depth of the flavors.
    Amy, So happy this post encourages you to use sumac now. It makes me smile from ear to ear. BTW, me too on living somewhere where citrus tree can survive, that will be heaven! :)

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  35. So I've got a nice size bag of sumac, courtesy of @jeroxie, and now you've given me a bunch of ideas on how to use it. Thank you!

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  36. This jewel toned salad is absolutely gorgeous! I have some sumac in my cabinet from Penzys, ready to put to use!

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  37. What a gorgeous and colorful salad! Absolutely beautiful and the combination of flavors sounds just perfect. I had a blood orange vinaigrette at a restaurant in Florida before but have never made my own. I'm so glad you posted a recipe for a vinaigrette using blood oranges, it sounds incredible.

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  38. Pammy, Debi, thanks!! Amazing how many people have sumac in their pantry just makes me happy:). Debi, pomegranate arils, true, absolute jewels:).
    Lindsey, sweetie, thank you so much!! Yup let me know if and when you try it, vinaigrette emulsifies better when in the fridge overnight and gets a deeper flavor profile:).

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  39. WOW, this salad is so much like... me. Pomegranates, oranges and sumac is what I love the most - they bring magic in anything you cook. I love it. It's just perfect.

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  40. Yolanda, Thanks. Aren't they. magic?! Thanks Maria. Thank you both for dropping by and visiting.

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  41. I have some sumac I bought for a lentil soup recipe. Now I know where I'll use it next. This looks fabulous!

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  42. Just beautiful, Shulie. I can taste it on the screen.

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