Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I must admit I am a bit obsessed about the citrus here.

I understand the season is coming to an end soon, but that doesn’t stop me from consuming my mandalina (mandarins) and kanlı portakal (blood oranges). This weekend, we must stock up again at the pazar.

In the U.S., I often remember ordering salads with blood oranges, goat cheese or feta and often nuts like pistachios, almonds or walnuts during the winter months. I decided to recreate that type of salad with the ingredients I find here.

Nuts abound in Turkey. There are small stores known as kuruyemiş that sell (cheaply) tons of dried fruits and nuts. I try to always keep some badem (almonds), fındık (hazelnuts) and fıstık (pistachios) in the house. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Turkey produces 2 percent of the world’s almond crop. Most of the almond trees can be found in the southwestern part of the country called  the Datça Peninsula.

Last night, I decided to make a lovely spring salad using blood oranges, almonds, beyaz peynir (white cheese similar to feta), roka (arugula) and lemony bits of kuzu kulağı (sorrel). I reserved some of the juice from the blood orange segments and made a vinaigrette with the juice and Turkish olive oil.
A cutting board full of blood oranges at our apartment in Istanbul.
The salad is quite simple to make but is packed full of flavor. The sorrel adds a nice tanginess that complements the citrus. If you can’t find blood oranges, feel free to substitute with pink grapefruit or oranges.

Afiyet olsun!


Simple Spring Salad
(For about 2 small salads)
Ingredients:

roka (arugula), rinsed
kuzu kulağı (sorrel), rinsed
beyaz peynir - substitute with Feta or goat cheese
almonds, chopped into slivers
blood orange segments, cut from 3 oranges
TT salt and pepper

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together 2 T. blood orange juice and 2 T. olive oil.

1. Arrange the selected lettuces in salad bowls. Garnish with the cheese, almonds and orange segments.
2. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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