Winter Citrus and Escarole Salad (Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola)

This is a result of healthy/seasonal food cravings after having an heavy lunch this past Sunday.  It completely hit the spot…If you want to be “fancy” you can serve at as in the picture, but feel free to chop up the escarole and orange for easier communal serving.

This is a good side to accompany a white fish, cannellini beans or marinated tempeh.  I like the balance of multiple acids, which is why I use lemon juice over oranges with a touch of apple cider vinegar to balance the lemon.  However, if you don’t have any good apple cider vinegar on hand, I recommend you just use more lemon juice in its place.

I highly recommend that you mix the dressing before preparing the vegetables to allow the flavors to marry and to allow the dried mint to open up in the liquid.  Also, be sure to rinse the escarole well as it can be quite sandy.

I hope you enjoy my first NY recipe!

What you need:

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons walnut or extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more lemon juice)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

juice from 1 tablespoon grated ginger (simply squeeze it in the palm of your hand or through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and discard the fiber)

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 head escarole, leaves removed from core, well rinsed and dried in a salad spinner or on a clean dish towel

1 orange, peel and pith removed with your knife and sliced into 1/4″ slices

5 radishes, thinly sliced

chia seeds, for sprinkling

What to do:

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Assembly:*

Arrange in layers: escarole leaf, orange slice, radish slice.  Repeat three times per plate.

Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle chia seeds.

*You can also chop the escarole leaves and quarter the orange slices to toss in a communal bowl with the radish slices, dressing and chia seeds.

Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola:

Cosa serve:

Per la salsa:

2 cucchiai di succo di limone

2 cucchiai d’olio di noce o extra vergine d’oliva

1 cucchiaio d’aceto di mele

1 cucchiaio di sciroppo d’acero

succo d’un cucchiaio di zenzero grattugiato (semplicemente stringetelo tra i palmi e raccogliete il succo, scartando le fibre)

2 cucchiai di scalogno, tritato (circa un scalogno)

1/2 cucchiaino di menta essiccata

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino

pepe nero macinato

Per l’insalata:

1 grappolo di scarola, foglie separate dal torsolo e ben lavate ed asciugate (consiglio di asciugarle in una centrifuga scolaverdure o in uno strofinaccio)

1 arancia, pelata (inclusa la parte fibrosa) e tagliata in fette da circa un centimetro

5 ravanelli, affettate sottilmente

semi di cia, per cospargere

Cosa fare:

Frustate gli ingredienti per la salsa in una scodella piccola e mettete da parte.

Preparazione:*

Mettete in strati su ogni piatto: una foglia di scarola, una fetta d’arancia ed una fetta di ravanello.  Ripetete tre volte per ogni piatto.

Fate cadere gocce di salsa e cospargete i semi di cia sulla verdura.

*Potete anche servire in un’insalatiera grande, tagliando la scarola e facendo pezzetti d’arancia per unire al ravanello, la salsa ed i semi di cia.

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Citrus-Scented Asparagus and Pea Soup

Asparagus is an incredibly potent antioxidant and has a surprising amount of protein.  In fact, thanks to the protein and fiber from the asparagus and peas, as well as all of the liquid, this purée is quite filling.   This is a great way to have a quick vegetable-packed meal.  However, if you like more substance, try with Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs or Ricotta Dumplings.

Serves 4-6

What you need:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

1 yellow onion, medium dice

2 large shallots, roughly chopped

2 cups light chicken stock or bone broth

2 bunches fresh asparagus, halved

zest of half an orange

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (preferably Meyer)

salt, to taste

pinch white pepper

½ cup grass fed whole milk or unsweetened almond milk

What to do:

Sweat peas, onion and shallots in oil with a bit of salt in medium-sized pot.  Add broth and bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, bring a separate small pot of salted water to a boil and set up a small ice bath.

Add asparagus, reserving a few spears to steam, and cook until just done. It is important that the asparagus does not overcook, or else it will turn muddy green. While the asparagus is cooking in the pot, blanch remaining spears in the boiling water for one minute and shock in ice cold water for 2 minutes.  Set aside.

Lower heat and purée with hand blender until very smooth (You can use a Vitamix or high speed blender if you have one, which would give the smoothest result).  Turn off the heat and add zest and citrus juices.

Add milk and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with asparagus tips for garnish, a bit of zest and optional dollop of yogurt into each bowl.

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