Sicilian Orange Salad

serves 4

I was watching an episode of Top Chef several weeks ago, and they had a quickfire challenge with the chefs competing to determine who was fastest at segmenting an orange.  I kind of laughed the challenge off, thinking it was too easy.

Although this recipe is great and worth the effort, let me tell you that segmenting the oranges takes time.  To make it easier, be sure you use a very sharp knife.  You’ll appreciate the tasty result.

4 large seedless navel oranges, peeled and segmented

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and soaked for ten minutes in ice water.  Drain well

1/2 small fennel bulb, white part thinly sliced

3 tb extra virgin olive oil

2 tb chopped mint

12 kalamata olives, sliced in half

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in bowl.  Toss well.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve cold.

Basic Vinaigrette

(I made this salad dressing for my first Sacred Feast. It was a big hit, and it was even better the second day.  My salad was made with romaine mixed lettuces from my garden)

4 small shallots

5 tb water

2 tb Dijon mustard

2 tb good quality sherry vinegar

2 tb lemon juice

1 1/2 tb Italian parsley, chopped fine

2 tb extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop 2 shallots.  Place chopped shallots and water in microwave-safe bowl.  Cover tightly and microwave on high until shallots are tender, about five minutes.

Put cooked shallots and water into blender.  Add mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice.  Blend until mixture is very smooth; pour into bowl.

Chop remaining shallots very fine; add them to the bowl.  Add parsley and olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper.  Gently mix but do not emulsify.

Serve immediately or store in a covered container, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.  Bring to room temperature and whisk gently before using.

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad

serves 10


1 cup Quinoa (Keen-Wa)

2 cups water

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tb olive oil

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers,drained

1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 avocados, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup feta cheese, optional


Follow cooking instructions on box for Quinoa.

Stir together lime juice, olive oil, pepper, diced tomatoes, and garbanzo beans.  When quinoa is done, stir it into the tomato mixture, then cool in refrigerator, covered, until cold, about 2 hours.

When the quinoa is cold, fluff with spoon, and gently fold in cilantro, avocados and cheese.

Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

Makes six servings

3 Cucumbers, peeled and halved lengthwise

3 tb extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tb white wine vinegar

3/4 tb sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 small onion, finely chopped

Using a spoon, scrape out and discard seeds from each cucumber half.  Cut each cucumber half crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

In large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until well blended.

Add cucumber and onion; toss well to combine.

Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature for at least 3o minutes. Toss again before serving.

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