Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Salad for a Cold

March 29, 2008

Nothing tastes better to me when I have a cold than an orange. Perhaps its the long association -- after all, oranges and grapefruit are forced upon us as a source of vitamin C -- from childhood forward. But the tart sweet orangeness is unmistakably a friend that will surely make the cold go away.

Coming down with a cold last week, I bought six oranges and began finding ways to eat them. Usually a sliced orange at breakfast did the trick, but I also came up with one of the best salads I've ever tasted the other night.

Like everyone, I really enjoy the packaged salad greens, but I tend to augment them with a head of romaine or oak leaf just to add some texture. This time I used about a cup of mixed lettuces and two big leaves of romaine, washed and chopped together into bite-sized pieces. Then I peeled and segmented an orange, eating the connecting membranes and scraping any orange meat off the skins with my teeth. I've heard that the white part of the peel is rich in calcium, and I don't find it has any taste, so I eat as much of it as I can.

To make the dressing, I created a basic vinaigrette using fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar. I start with about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, salt to taste, a drop of honey, and whisk it with the juice of half a lemon. This much will take a little over a quarter cup of olive oil, and some of the dressing will be left over for another day.

The sectioned orange had rendered a few tablespoons of juice, so I incorporated that into the salad dressing. I tossed the greens with a few tablespoons of juice, added a pinch or two of salt, the orange sections, and had a delicious salad. I'm sure this cold is on the way out.

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