A Few Ingredients and You’ve Got Simplicity at Its Best.
Anyone who’s been here for awhile is aware of my fondness for fresh orange salads. When they’re in peak season I eat them regularly. Besides being delicious, they serve a specific purpose.
I don’t enjoy eating multiple rich dishes at the same time. My palate goes dead unless it has something to liven it up. In other words, it needs something brightly flavored with plenty of acid in between bites of something rich.
Oranges fill the bill perfectly. I’ve made these salads with onions, fennel, salad greens, pomegranate arils, etc. This time I wanted to showcase some new wild black cumin seeds *, so I stripped it back to the bare essentials.
*Wild black cumin seeds can be found in some natural food stores or online. They have a similar flavor to regular cumin with a pleasant smokiness and sweetness.
The salad was simple but fantastically flavorful. I used pepper, olive oil and freshly squeezed orange juice as the dressing. The result was zesty,
After toasting and lightly crushing a teaspoon of the cumin seeds, I sliced the peel off 4 or 5 assorted oranges and a couple clementines. I then sliced them into 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick slices, arranged them on a platter, sprinkled them with a couple teaspoons of calamansi vinegar, scattered on the crushed cumin seeds, kosher salt, plenty of black pepper and drizzled it with 2 or 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. A dozen or so oil cured olives and a few mint leaves finished it up.
This salad balanced out a meal of roasted chicken thighs and my rich sweet potatoes au gratin. Those other 2 dishes are deeply flavored. The oranges brightened it up and kept things interesting. That’s my kind of meal.