So I’ve started the year off with two healthy posts. Let’s see how long this lasts before cake begins to assert its upper hand! Cara Cara oranges, which are grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley (and sold by Sunkist), are tantalisingly juicy, sweet, low acid and have a beautiful grapefruit-red flesh, which lent itself happily to the creation of this vivid and refreshing salad. I didn’t need further reason to pick this fruit but it’s nice to know it’s packed with vitamins A, C and fiber, along with foliate, potassium and antioxidant lycopene. In fact, the oranges and strawberries were so sweet, I did away with the original plan of a balsamic reduction as a dressing, instead just sprinkling the salad with a light dusting of icing sugar, purely for aesthetic reasons. The only herb at hand happened to be basil, which was just as well – it was the perfect touch. Feel free to substitute the sugar with stevia, or nothing at all.
- cara cara oranges, 2
- handfuls of strawberries, halved, 2
- cherries, a few (for colour contrast)
- basil, a few leaves, sliced into ribbons
- Arrange on plate and dust with icing sugar or stevia
- China is the world’s biggest apple producer, spouting out 25 million of the fruit in 2005, with the US a distant second at 4 million
- Apples could indeed keep the doctor away, with studies indicating they could reduce the risk of various cancers
- Apples have vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds, as well as fiber
- The Big Apple is a moniker for New York City
- The term was first made popular in the 1920s by John J Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, in a reference to horse racing
- The nickname is said to have its roots in African-American culture
- And, not least, the Big Apple is where we’re headed next. Woo hoo!
With Halloween approaching, weblike, skeletal adornments are creeping up the neighbourhood homes, while plump pumpkins preen at the grocer’s.. haven’t decided if the latter should adorn our porch because the only appreciation they got last year was from them darned squirrels. Even before they were carved, the scoundrels had bitten massive chunks out of them and there was indisputable evidence of a game of rodent rugby. The giant fruit, formerly seated majestically on the porch, lay in ruins, their orange glory in miserable shreds splattered gleefully over the front yard.
That’s worked me up an appetite. Here’s a salad recipe which well suits the fall. Why delay the inevitable mention of food (ignoring pumpkins and squirrels)?
Pear and Nut Salad
- Big bowl of assorted green stuff – spinach, lettuce, radicchio (ok red too)
- One ripe Bartlett pear, slivered evenly and in length
- Cherry tomatoes, handful (optional)
- Caramelised walnuts, a few
- Toasted, salted pumpkin seeds, sprinkle of
Layer the salad in the order above. Drizzle salad dressing over (see below).
Scrummy balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
- 3/4 tbsp seeded mustard
- generous pour of olive oil, whip both till creamy
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey. Whip it good.
Turn it into a meal with a fillet of breaded cod or tilapia or smoked salmon.