Oranges, Balsamic Candied Pecans & Herb Salad

Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

Hi, Marcella Rose here!  I often find that I make some of my most exciting recipes out of necessity.  Needing to use this or that before it goes bad or to make room in the fridge or because “surprise!”, you have guests staying for dinner.  It’s where I shine because you really have to be creative to make it work.

It is a skill that was honed while being a ranch cook 45 miles from anything for 5 years.  I would open up a cook book and decide on a recipe only to find out that we don’t have half the ingredients.  I got really good at substitutions and clever ways around things and it made me feel empowered.  I didn’t need to be limited by recipes. So strict and to the point.  Why not let your palate decide?  You know what you like, what flavor combinations taste best together.  So tonight why not take off the saddle, untie the reins and just run free?  Make something up, be spontaneous, and try something new! Who knows what could happen, you could invent a new favorite dish!


Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette
Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

This is how I came up with my new favorite salad.  See, a friend of mine bought me a huge bag of oranges.  It weighs over 5 pounds.  Now this is a challenge.  Because they also brought one into work, the place I pawn off food when I have too much to finish on my own.  So I was stuck with all these oranges and I was going to make…well Orange Herb Salad. I mean, I can’t eat 5 pounds of Ambrosia and it would be cheating to juice them, plus they are perfection right now.  We are indeed at the tail end of citrus season.

I started with butter lettuce.  I am just dying over this lettuce right now, it’s my current favorite.  It’s so delicate but at the same time can hold up when filled with meat or veggies in a lettuce wrap.  It’s subtle but it definitely has flavor and it’s smooth, smooth like butter.  I needed something to add a little crunch because orange slices and butter lettuce leave the mouth wanting something a bit more, let’s say, substantial; diced English cucumber would do the trick.  Add to that some dill and my easy recipe for Balsamic Candied Nuts and this perfect little salad was born.  It’s bright and peppy on the plate and the sweetness of the orange and the sharpness of the dill profile together fantastically.

Now a vinaigrette is needed.  This salad I topped with a luscious lemon vinaigrette, to add some tang and take the edge off the sweet oranges and nuts.  How do you make vinaigrette you ask? It as simple as 3 to 1! That’s three parts oil to one part vinegar or citrus.  Then add salt and pepper to taste, a little herbs or some onion, garlic or shallot, shake and viola! You never need to buy store bought salad dressing again!

lemon vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette

 lemon vinaigrette

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 3 parts good olive oil
  • 1 part lemon vinegar – or sub out for straight lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add all ingredients in a jar and shake, shake, shake!

Orange and Herb Salad

  • Arrange a few whole leaves of butter lettuce on a plate
  • Cut your oranges into segments and arrange on lettuce
  • Dice English cucumber and add to lettuce and oranges
  • Mince dill and sprinkle on salad
  • Top with my Marcella Rose’s Balsamic Candied Nuts
  • Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette and serve

 

To the challenge of a 5 pound bag of oranges!

Marcella Rose

Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

 

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Marcella Rose began cooking early, learning from her self-taught mom who prepared brilliant meals nightly. At thirteen, cooking on a Ranch, she learned how to get creative in the kitchen. With an eye for the beautiful, a growing palate, and keen organizing skills she soon began hosting parties and catering events. Moving to New York she was graced to have worked with some of the best interior designers in the city. Taking these skills to the Internet with Marcella Rose’s she shares her passion and innovation hoping to inspire the modern woman.

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