There will be blood oranges

I know, I know.

They’re not local. But here in southeast-PA’s Zone 7, no citrus is.

Orange you glad it's nearly Spring?
Orange you glad it’s nearly spring?

With the short-seasoned blood oranges, ruby grapefruits, and Meyer lemons, though, I’ll stomach the carbon-footprint guilt. They just pair so beautifully with what is local and available now: Dark, leafy greens.

Yes, even in the midst of the region’s second-snowiest winter on record, we’ve been getting ginormous bags of spinach, baby kale, arugula, and cress every week. Bless those high tunnels and hoop houses.

So here’s a quick citrus-mustard vinaigrette to dress up any bunch of those deep-green leaves. I particularly like it with arugula, kale, or baby chard. Toss in some shaved fennel or roasted beets or a handful of nuts or cooked chicken breast or blood orange segments or cheese (or all of the above), and you’ve got a pretty great lunch that busts out of the rut.

Blood oranges lend a terrific tart-sweet zap to the deep, dark greens that dominate our region's late-winter CSA shares.
Blood oranges lend a terrific tart-sweet zap to the dark greens that dominate our region’s late-winter CSA shares.
Blood orange vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup of blood orange juice (the juice of 2 small oranges)
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 walnut oil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 -2 tbsp minced parsley (or a smaller amount of minced tarragon)
  • salt and pepper, a pinch each
Save time and dishes: Make, shake, and store in the same jar.
Save prep time and clean-up time: Make, shake, and store in the same jar.

Put all ingredients in a 1/4- or 1/2-pint mason jar. Secure the lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

This’ll keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Just know that the flavors will be muted if you serve it ice-box cold, so let it come back closer to room temperature before you dress your salad—and be sure to give it a fresh shake.

Arugula and microgreens and goat cheese from last week's CSA share, plus some leftover roast chicken.
Arugula and microgreens and goat cheese from last week’s CSA share + some leftover roast chicken = lunch.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your citrus here, either. Grapefruit and Meyer lemon (a sweetish crossing of lemon and mandarin orange) work just as well.

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