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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Vegan Pistachio-Coconut Ice Cream (Gelato Vegano di Pistacchio e Cocco)

This is a recipe I devised to satisfy a certain family member’s ice cream addiction without having to experience feelings of guilt for watching him eat such artery-clogging, acidifying food… Thus, while it requires full-fat coconut milk (light coconut milk will become icy when frozen), at least the fat is plant-based and is argued to have many metabolic benefits, unlike milk fat.  Also, the sweetness is derived from the coconut milk, banana and agave, not cane sugar.

I wish I had an ice cream maker to try using for this recipe, but after some trial-and-error I got it to work sans the appliance.  By using not only “whole” coconut milk,  throwing in a banana gave extra natural sweetening power, along with preventing the “ice cream” from becoming too hard in the freezer.

While this vegan version of ice cream is much better for you than the traditional cream version, I would still eat this as an occasional treat.  Enjoy!

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk

1 very ripe banana (the browner, the better)

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp raw, shelled pistachios

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup honey, light maple syrup, or agave

2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

What to do:

Blend the coconut milk, banana, 1/2 cup of the pistachios, vanilla, agave, and salt in a blender for about 1 minute, or until there are no pistachio chunks remaining.

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Pour in freezer-safe container or bowl and fold in the 3 Tbsp of pistachios and the chia seeds (if using).

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Cover and place in freezer for 4-6 hours before serving.  If possible, stir once or twice to “churn” during the freezing process.  If you freeze longer than 6 hours, remove from freezer about 20 minutes before serving and stir well.

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Gelato Vegano di Pistacchio e Cocco:

Ingredienti:

1 lattina di latte di cocco intero

1 banana, molto matura (più marrone, meglio è)

1/2 tazza, più 3 cucchiai di pistacchi crudi e sbucciati

1 1/2 cucchiaini d’estratto di vaniglia

1/2 cucchiaino di sale fino di mare

75 ml di sciroppo d’agave o di sciroppo d’acero

2 cucchiai di semi di cia (facoltativo)

Come Fare:

Frullate il latte di cocco, la banana, la metà tazza di pistacchi, la vaniglia, lo sciroppo d’agave e il sale in un frullatore per circa un minuto, o finché non ci siano più pezzi di pistacchio rimasti.

Versate in un contenitore adatto per il freezer e unire i pistacchi interi rimasti e i semi di cia (se ne volete).

Coprite e mettete in freezer per 4-6 ore prima di servire.  Se possibile, agitate una o due volte mentre si congela.  Se lo lasciate in freezer per più di 6 ore, toglietelo dal freezer circa 20 minuti prima di servire e agitate.

 


Fruity Chia Pudding (Budino di Semi di Cia alla Frutta)

Chia in many ways outdoes flax; first of all, chia does not need to be ground up in order to absorb all of its benefits, which include: as much protein as flax (but, unlike flax, is a complete source of protein), twice the phosphorous, more than double the calcium, and less fat.  Also, chia is packed with gelatinous fiber, meaning it is especially effective for lowering cholesterol, and it alkalizes the body.

Besides adding chia to smoothies, yogurt and salads, this pudding is a great way to introduce a good dose of chia into your diet.

*Note:  Matsu was not around during the action, so the in-process photos are mine and way inferior!  I hope you enjoy his lovely pictures of the finished product though 🙂

Serves 1-2 

Ingredients:

1/2 nectarine, 1/2 banana, a few figs or other fruit, mashed

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2/3 cup almond milk, coconut milk or any other milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or you can have fun and do 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, plus 1/4 teaspoon coconut, ginger or some other extract)

1 teaspoon honey, agave or maple syrup

pinch salt

What to do:

Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl (not too small, as the mixture will double in size) and let sit in fridge for 4 hours or more,  stirring once to ensure all chia seeds come in contact with liquid.

Mix again before serving.

Fruity Chia Pudding - The Clean Gourmet

1-2 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1/2 nettarina

2 cucchiai di semi di cia

2/3 tazza di latte di mandorle, latte di cocco o qualsiasi tipo di latte

1/2 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia (oppure 1/4 cucchiaino di vaniglia, più 1/4 cucchiaino di estratto di cocco, zenzero o qualsiasi altro tipo)

1 cucchiaino di miele, agave oppure sciroppo d’acero

pizzico di sale

Cosa fare:

Mescolate tutti gli ingredienti in una scodella piccola (ma non troppo piccola, perché la mescolanza raddoppierà) e lasciatelo in frigo per almeno 4 ore, agitando una volta.

Agitate un’altra volta prima di servire.

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