Tag: orange blossom dressing

Raw Asparagus Salad with Peach, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

I had lots of asparagus in my kitchen this year but, unfortunately, no time to try many raw recipes. I needed green and white asparagus for new recipes for my cookbook which I’m very happy with. Since late March, a quick combination of Asparagus with Balsamic Bacon and a Tortilla joined the eat in my kitchen recipe collection but there was no salad with the raw green stalks, that changed last week.

My Mediterranean version with tomatoes and Parmesan inspired by my mother introduced me to the pleasures of raw asparagus for the first time, followed by a Nordic salad with hardboiled egg, lemon yoghurt dressing and chives. This year, I felt like a fruity take on this dish, thinly sliced green asparagus with honey sweet white peaches, young pecorino and a refreshing dressing made with freshly squeezed orange juice and orange blossom water. Enjoyed with a glass of chilled rosé and a crunchy loaf of rustic French bread I didn’t even mind that the cool temperatures couldn’t keep up with this summery dish.

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 Raw Asparagus Salad with Peach, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

For 2 you need

The asparagus should be very fresh and not woody.

raw green asparagus, the bottom cut off and the lower part peeled if necessary, about 10 stalks
flat white Donut (or Saturn) peaches, sliced thinly, 2
young Pecorino (or Parmesan), sliced thinly, about 50g / 1 3/4oz

For the dressing

olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
quality orange blossom water (preferably organic) 2 teaspoons
a pinch of sugar (or honey)
salt and pepper

Cut the asparagus’ heads off and in half, cut the stalks into slim slices, this works best with a mandolin or cheese slicer. Arrange the asparagus and peaches on plates. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste, sprinkle over the salad and finish it off with the Pecorino.

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

Asparagus Salad with Pear, Orange Blossom and Pecorino

 

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A Salad of Rucola, Plum and Pear with Orange Blossom Water

Rucola, Plum, Pear and Orange Blossom Salad

Here’s another one of the kitchen leftover mash-ups I mentioned yesterday: There were 3 bunches of rucola (rocket) on the window sill, Italian plums which started to look a bit sad and ripe pears, ready to be eaten just before they get soft and mushy. I tossed everything together in a bowl and mixed it with my new favourite summer salad dressing: olive oil whisked with freshly squeezed orange juice and a little orange blossom water. It’s fantastic, the citrus’ fruitiness merges wonderfully with the orange blossom’s flowery aroma and the warm olive oil.

Citrus and olive oil is a delicious combination. One of my favourite recipes on eat in my kitchen features this glorious treat, it’s a very simple yet absolutely delicious Sicilian salad. The first time I ate it was at a farm in Noto where we stayed a few years ago. The lady of the house would make it for us for breakfast. She used the ripest oranges from the farm, cut them into fillets and sprinkled them with a little olive oil and dried oregano. It was a heavenly and eye-opening experience for me. I had never really thought of this combination before, mixing fruit with olive oil was quite new for me at that point and this morning treat influenced many of my recipes over the years. It taught me to be open minded and experimental, to combine various flavours, to mix what seems far away in taste but trust that it will lead to a satisfying result (which it often does).

However, the combination of fruit and olive oil needs a strong partner, either a herb or spicy rucola leaves as I chose. You could replace the plums and pears with any other sweet fruit you have at hand in your kitchen: strawberries, nectarines, figs or oranges. As long as they have honey sweet juices to add to the salad, they will be a good choice!

Rucola, Plum, Pear and Orange Blossom Salad

 

Rucola, Plum, Pear and Orange Blossom Salad

A Salad of Rucola, Plum and Pear with Orange Blossom Water

For a quick lunch for 2 you need

rucola (rocket) leaves, 2 handful
pear, quartered, cored and sliced, 1 (or an equal amount of another sweet fruit)
large plum, cut in half and sliced, 1 (or an equal amount of another sweet fruit)

For the dressing
olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
quality orange blossom water (preferably organic) 1-2 teaspoons, to taste
salt and pepper

Arrange the rucola and fruit in a bowl. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, season to taste and sprinkle over the salad, serve immediately.

Rucola, Plum, Pear and Orange Blossom Salad

 

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