Friday, March 19, 2010

Segmented Orange And Spinach Salad With Toasted Walnuts

It's been so warm and spring-like lately. I thought I would make a salad that featured fruit prominently to celebrate. The salad I came up with was a great compliment to the Cacio e Pepe. (see below) I was nervous that my young sons (6 and 8) wouldn't be into it, but they did.

As I was segmenting the oranges I was listening to Devo's "The New Traditionalists." I've always loved their "small minds through big technology approach." I think of Facebook and Twitter as great examples of how impressive technology can be put to such insipid use. One of the best things I've done for myself is to axe my Facebook account. I just couldn't take reading updates along the lines of "Susan is happy!" or "Thomas loves coffee" or "Henry is not amused." What does any of that mean?!

In the end, I'm happy to be doing my thing in my small kitchen, listening to music and ignoring all the people broadcasting absolutely nothing. At least with cooking, people are brought together for true face to face interaction. I'll take that over Facebook any day of the week.

Segmented Orange And Spinach Salad With Toasted Walnuts

Serves 4-6

1 bunch of Spinach
4 large navel oranges
2 1/2 ounces walnuts, coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced shallot

1. Clean spinach and remove stems.

2. Coarsely chop the walnuts, then toast in a small pan. Be careful not to burn them. Look for a light golden brown and smell for the release of the walnuts' oil.

3. Segment 3 of the oranges, being sure to reserve the unused portions. Juice the unused portions of the oranges, along with the fourth navel orange. You need 8 tablespoons of juice.

4. Combine the orange juice with an equal amount of olive oil. Whisk together, then add salt, pepper to taste and minced shallot. Test for flavor. You may need more oil, more acid (juice) or more salt and pepper.

5. Toss segmented oranges, walnuts and spinach in bowl, then coat with dressing and serve.

when tasting the dressing, dip a spinach leaf into the dressing. You can sometimes get a better sense of the dressing's flavor when doing so with some of the greens the dressing will be served with. You might also want to substitute baby spinach, since the leaves will be smaller and easier to to eat.


  1. Harry just updated his status. Now he is very unhappy.

    By the way, this is a great combination for a salad.

  2. Harry is such a whiner!

    Glad you like the salad. I'm a sucker for non-standard salads. :)

  3. I recently had a nice version of this in Kansas City after a winter storm and a hapless hotel driver got us in an accident taking me from the hotel to the original Arthur Bryants for some KC BBQ. I was bummed, but unhurt, and had this salad along with a appetizer portion of spare ribs at the hotel. It turns out that the hotel restaurant had a pretty decent competitive BBQ team and the ribs were top notch.

  4. That great (not the accident)! It's so smart to pair citrus with barbecue because the acid can help cut through the sauce and cleanse your palate.

    Bummer about the accident!

  5. This salad was sensational! How fortunate we were to enjoy such fresh deliciousness! Yum!