Moving from California there is a lot to miss, this being the peak of citrus season (reading a recent blog post by "White on Rice Couple" - www.whiteonricecouple.com and becoming envious of their backyard citrus fortune did not help me), I am missing my weekend visits to the farmers market with tables piled high of just picked oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and clementines. The sight, smell, and taste can not be matched. Still, I do consider myself fortunate to have grocery stores nearby like: Wholefoods, Trader Joes and Costco; they offer some amazing citrus choices - not the same as my California farmers market, but still sunshine on a southern February day.
A favorite winter citrus salad that I have made repeatedly is from a memorable cooking class called "A Mediterranean Winter Holiday Buffet" taught by Georgeanne Brennan. The salad's centerpiece is ORANGES with fennel, herbs, sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil all providing a Mediterranean (Spanish) flare. When Georgeanne made it she also added capers, I mix it up sometimes adding capers, Kalamata or Moroccan olives or recently none of those.
Orange and Fennel Winter Mediterranean Salad
adapted from Georgeanne Brennan
3-4 oranges, rind removed and sliced crosswise
(I like to mix up the varieties, I used blood oranges, Cara Cara and navels . The variety is visually breath taking and the flavors give the salad a more complex taste.)
1 medium fennel bulb, outer tough layer removed, cored and sliced thinly by hand or with a mandolin
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed or 10 pitted Kalamata or Moroccan olives
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley, finely
1. Arrange the sliced oranges on a platter. Scatter the sliced fennel over the oranges.
2. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar over the oranges.
3. Sprinkle the parsley over the salad. Refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to develop.