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Orange and olive salad {ffwd}

Orange and Olive Salad

I was unexpectedly under the weather this week, so was happy that this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie turned out to be one of Dorie’s non-recipes. Not only was it super simple to put together, but without any planning on my part, I had all of the ingredients on hand. After last week’s tagine, this week’s orange and olive salad offers another glimpse into the tastes of Morocco.

As one might expect, I made a single serving because Howard had zero interest in this orange salad. All I needed was an orange, an onion, some olives, and olive oil. The orange is peeled and sliced. The onion first soaks in an ice bath to remove its bite. Then, all the ingredients are composed for a colorful, festive salad.

Simple Ingredients

If had were a better meal planner (2015 New Year’s Resolution?), this would have been a nice accompaniment to last week’s tagine. Alas, I just ate it as a side with our regular meal (roasted winter vegetable pot pie).

I wasn’t sold on this salad. The citrus was refreshing, but I might be in Howard’s camp on this one. The rest of the flavors didn’t meld for me. It could be because I used a yellow onion, which was all I had on hand. I’m not a fan of raw onions, and though Dorie’s taught me that an ice bath helps, I might have enjoyed red onion better. It would have added a nice touch of extra color as well.

To see what the other Doristas thought of this salad, check their links here. This hardly needs a recipe, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

I’m loving the Dorista holiday cards and recipes that arrive in my mailbox daily! Thanks to Alice for organizing this now-annual card exchange as a lovely way share holiday wishes with our cyber-friends (and in many cases, now, real friends). Whether I sent you a card or not, I wish you and your family a magical holiday season and a delicious new year in 2015. I look forward to continue cooking with you next year!

2014 Holiday Cards

Cottage Cooking Club: October

squash-mushroom salad

I felt ambitious this month and chose 3 different recipes to make for Cottage Cooking Club, a cook-along group for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall´s “River Cottage Veg”. Started in May 2014 by the talented German blogger, Andrea, of Kitchen Lioness, this group is collectively making all the recipes in this book in one year.

The first recipe I tried was for Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Paprika. Cauliflower and broccoli are two vegetables that I’ve only recently started to enjoy. I like them best roasted. I’d never tried this seasoning combination before: roasted lemon wedges and smoked paprika. The flavors were delicious, but I mistakenly chose to roast the cauliflower in a high-sided roasting pan because it came out more steamed than what I expect for roasted. I might try this again, but if I do, I’d use a baking sheet with the hopes the cauliflower would caramelize.

roasted cauliflower

The other two recipes were salads with warm interesting toppings.

One was topped with white beans with artichokes. This comes from the Pantry Suppers chapter. If your pantry is stock with a can of white beans and a jar of marinated artichokes you can whip this up whenever you wish. The beans and artichokes are sautéed together with garlic. This simple combination tops mixed greens for a light lunch.

sarm artichoke-bean salad

Finally, what’s not to love about roasted squash and sautéed mushrooms on top of salad greens? I think this was my favorite of the three, so it’s pictured at the top of the post. The sweet roasted squash and the earthy mushroom were the perfect pairing. The tangy balsamic vinaigrette tied this hearty salad together. (This recipe called for blue cheese, I skipped it completely.)

After three months cooking along, I have to say that I’m really enjoying this book. The recipes are straightforward and delicious, offering flavor combinations that are sometimes familiar and sometimes new. I also value Andrea’s seasonal selections, allowing me to make the most of the best vegetables around each month. I wonder what November will bring?

If you are interested in reviews of other recipes selected this month, follow participant links here.