‘Tis the season for indulging, which makes it even nicer to eat raw and fresh things at this time of year. Here is an impressive and festive seasonal salad that will keep you on an even keel between all the scheduled overeating. It’s elegant enough to serve as a main course (just add crab or lobster for a total knock-out), but holds up as an easy-to-assemble starter for some more feasting. Use large, soft persimmons instead of orange for a subtler winter flavor.
Orange, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Dressing
- 2 large Navel oranges, rind removed and sliced cross-wise
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from one large Navel orange)
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- fresh pepper
In a small saucepan on the stove, cook orange juice and zest over very low heat until reduced to 1/3 original volume. Pour into a bowl to cool. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Toss the arugula with 3/4 of the dressing, then assemble the rest of the salad on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 5 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne (adjust to taste)
Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Mix everything except the walnuts together in a bowl until well combined. Toss walnuts in mixture until thoroughly covered. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until sugar just starts to go brown and nuts are very lightly toasted, about 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool before eating or plating.
Walnuts will keep in an airtight container for a few days afterwards, so feel free to make more.