I Heart Salad

I know Valentine’s Day can be full of cliches, red, chocolate, all things heart-shaped, but I couldn’t resist making this salad. This year we’re going to have dinner at home, with this salad, and some homemade strawberry chocolate chunk ice cream, champagne and… I haven’t quite figured out the rest at the moment but at least we’ll have salad and ice cream (priorities!). In the past we would often do a weekend getaway, one of our favorites was in Montauk, NY. When we lived in New York City we would drive all the way out to the tip of Long Island, the beach was deserted and wonderful, we stayed in a cottage across from the ocean where we had a wood burning fire and would cook dinner together, and then bundle up for long walks on the beach. It was the quiet that made that place special for us. Just us and the beach. I’m happy to have these memories, and feel lucky to have such a wonderful guy in my life.

I think you will really enjoy this recipe, citrus is always wonderful in salads and here it’s balanced very nicely with the bitter radicchio, sweet maple orange syrup, creamy ricotta and toasted pine nuts. It’s refreshing and tasty. What’s not to love?

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A Red Salad for Two

(Adapted from Plenty)

  • 2 Blood Oranges (or plain oranges), plus more for juicing
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange-flower water*
  • 1/2 small radicchio
  • 1 small Treviso, leaves separated**
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Handful of small red leaves
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta
  • Strawberries, about 4 sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • Seeds from 1 small pomegranate

To cut the oranges, slice off the top and base, cut down the sides of the orange to remove skin. Cut between the membranes and save the juice, squeeze skins into saucepan and add remaining juice. 

Squeeze additional oranges if needed until you have about 7 tablespoons of juice. Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of salt, bring to light simmer. Leave and reduce for 20-25 minutes, or until you are left with about 3 tablespoons of a thick syrup. Strain through fine sieve and allow to cool. Stir in the orange flower water.*

Pull apart the radicchio leaves and tear them roughly into large pieces into mixing bowl. Add the Treviso leaves, oil and salt and pepper, toss gently. Divide salad leaves onto two plates, dot with the orange segments, small red leaves and spoonfuls of ricotta, building the salad up. Drizzle with orange syrup and finish with strawberries pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

*I skipped the orange flower water. Who has orange flower water on hand?

** I couldn’t find Treviso so I only used radicchio and red leaf lettuce.

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