Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Simplicity, like revenge, is a dish best served cold

The weather here has been almost summer-like for the last week. While it may be a very welcome feeling for some, it has not been so for me. I HATE the summer.Not the activities or clothing choices but rather that heat is always accompanied by humidity here. It feels like living in someone's mouth for 3 months out of the year. Winter has the advantage that if you are cold, you can throw on another layer. With heat, you can only shed so many layers before it becomes illegal and a scary thing for the neighbors to view. Winter offers freedom of personal comfort-summer means slavery to the elements. By strange coincidence, the heat happened to fall on one of the heaviest cooking times of the year for me- the three festivals of St Patrick's Day, St Joseph's Day and Ostara/Alban Eilir ( Spring Equinox). In normal years the weather is still cold, and all that baking/stewing/boiling is a welcome thing. When you are on the verge of clicking on the air conditioner, not so much. About two days after I had planned and hopped for the eats, they announced that we were in for an extended, unprecedented warm spell, so I was stuck. It also lead me to fall in love with this delightful salad featuring these :
blood oranges and...
fresh basil. The combination is delightful together ! Basil brings out the sweet in orange and then sits like a rich but refreshing undertone to the dish. Best of all it is served cold, which makes for a very different and refreshing salad. Makes sense- it comes from a land of heat, beautiful citrus fruits and abundant herbs. Sicily !

Insalata di Arance e Cipolle ( Sicilian Orange Salad)

    3 navel oranges
    3 blood oranges
    1 medium red onion, sliced into paper thin rings
   bunch of fresh basil cut into a chiffonad
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the oranges, and remove all the pits. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Arrange the slices on a large, shallow platter. Lay the onion slices on top of the oranges and sprinkle with the oregano. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, and season generously with black pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.
Happily, the weather is supposed to break in a day or two, and I may be encouraged to bake some bread and so forth once it does. But till then I am a real fan of any dish served cold, and so much better if it is delightfully simple !
This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday


Jeremy Logsdon said...

We have three blood oranges in our kitchen just waiting to be used. I am going to buy fresh basil asap and make this!

Di said...

It is yummy ! I keep buying blood oranges and dreading the day they will go our of season here .