Write On Rubee

An Arizona-based food, beverage and travel writer since 2008,  I launched this website in 2015 to document my culinary adventures, beverage escapades, gardening endeavors, and travel in the Phoenix area and beyond.  Also find a comprehensive calendar of Phoenix-area food and drink-related events on my Events page.

Filtering by Tag: salad

Nicoise-inspired salads

One of my favorite dishes for guests is a composed salad, especially if I have crisp sweet lettuce from the garden and fresh juicy tomatoes.   The components can be prepped ahead and plated at the last minute with a generous drizzle of vinaigrette.  I use high-quality canned Italian or Spanish tuna, although a tuna steak off the grill is a nice change of pace.  For the vinaigrette, I give 3 tablespoons of champagne vinegar,  1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil a good shake in a glass jar to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper, toss in any combination of minced herbs you have on hand, and you're ready to go. 

Bonito del Norte (Spanish White Tuna) with red potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, and lettuce and tomatoes from the garden

Especial Tuna Wild Pacific albacore, olives, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes with red and green lettuce and tomatoes  from the garden.

Lucques salad with Valencia and Moro Oranges

Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin is in my top 5 cookbooks for many reasons - seasonal menus, perfect for entertaining, delicious flavors, and every single recipe is a winner. This is a favorite winter salad with arugula, almonds, and dates.  I used homegrown Valencia and Moro blood oranges with plump Arizona dates we picked up at Dateland on a drive back from San Diego.   About this recipe, Goin says, "This salad is my homage to those blood oranges that won my heart so many years ago. Layered with sweet dates, Parmesan, almonds, and a few leaves of peppery arugula, the blood-orange slices burst with sweet, tart juice".  

This is my Arizona variation of her recipe found in Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table.  I use two kinds of oranges to take advantage of my backyard harvest.  If you can get your hands on the seasonal Sphinx Black Dates, all the better.  This is a beautiful but simple company-worthy dish.  

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup toasted whole almonds or Arizona pecans
15 Arizona Medjool dates or Black Sphinx dates
2 Moro blood oranges
2 Valencia oranges
1/4 pound of Parmigiano-Reggiano, thinly sliced or shaved.  
2 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons pure almond oil
Salt and pepper (I like sea salts from local Go Lb Salts). 

DIRECTIONS

1. Halve the dates lengthwise and remove the pits.
3. Take a slice off the stem and blossom ends of the oranges so they sit flat. Following the shape of the fruit with your knife, cut the peel and white membrane from the orange, trying not to cut too much into the actual fruit, rotating as you go. Slice each orange horizontally into thin wheels.
5. Layer the salad in a large platter or individual salad plates:  Place about a third of the arugula on the plate and top with the sliced oranges, dates, cheese, and nuts. Follow with two more layers . Drizzle the nut oil over the salad, squeeze some fresh orange juice over it, and finish with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  If  you would like more acidity, add a splash of champagne vinegar. 

Serves 6.