Fine Cooking (April/May 2015)
We're gonna go out on a limb and say that spring is the best time of year for salads. We know: BOLD.
Seriously, though, we can't get enough. After a long winter, even the simplest greens with the plainest dressing somehow taste amazing. And with fresh greens at the farmers market, in our CSA (which just started up again last week) and our own backyard garden (which we need to talk to you about soon!), it's high salad season.
This one from Fine Cooking is especially good, thanks to a few unexpected elements.
The multicolor carrots, which the recipe recommends, are visually stunning (although of course orange carrots work fine too). We wrote about multicolor carrots back at Thanksgiving with those Harissa-and-Maple-Roasted Carrots. They are such a beautiful way to liven up a dish, even if they taste the same as traditional orange carrots. We can reliably find multicolor carrots at Trader Joe's these days.
The star ingredient here, though, is the dried cherries. Their sweetness is a great balance to the peppery arugula, and a nice complement to the carrots, too. The pistachios add a nice little texture, although to be honest we thought they got a little lost in this salad. (Maybe we crushed ours too fine?)
The dressing is nice and bright, thanks to the orange juice and orange zest.
All in all, this is a great little salad to add to your repertoire. We're sure to revisit this again before spring is over.
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz. baby arugula
10 oz. slender carrots, preferably multiple colors, cut into bite-size pieces
2 oz. (about 1/2 cup) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 oz. (about 1/2 cup) pistachios, very finely chopped
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, vinegar, and zest. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the arugula, carrots, cherries, and half the pistachios with enough dressing to coat well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the salad topped with the remaining pistachios.