Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's the Season for California Cara-Cara Oranges

cara-cara oranges

When my mom and nieces arrived the other night from Rhode Island, I asked them what they wanted to do while they were in California. The 9-year-old said, "Buy California oranges for Daddy!"

Keep in mind that Jeff and I live within 15 minutes of the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and some fantastic beaches. But, it was oranges they wanted, so oranges they got. Lots of them. We went to the Coronado farmers' market and bought freshly picked California navel, blood, and Cara-Cara oranges.

cara-cara orange

Cara-Cara oranges, which are at their peak in California right now, are refreshing, tangy, and juicy, sort of like a sweeter version of pink grapefruit. In fact because of their brilliant pinkish-orange flesh, they're often called "pink navels." They're delicious eaten out-of-hand, but I love them in winter salads, like this Frisee and Cara-Cara Orange Salad. The contrasting flavors of bitter frisee and sweet-tart Cara-Cara oranges are balanced with a lively mustard, orange juice, and sherry vinaigrette. 

Now that we've got the orange buying out of the way, we can finally go to the zoo. Let's hope they don't want to bring Daddy an elephant or a giraffe.

frisee and cara cara orange salad

Frisee and Cara-Cara Orange Salad
Serves 2
Print recipe only here.

1 medium head frisee
1 large Cara-Cara orange

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
several shakes of salt and black pepper

1. Wash, rinse, and pat dry the frisee. Using your hands, tear into small pieces.

2. Peel orange and slice into sections. Toss with frisee in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over salad and toss. Serve.

You might also enjoy these winter salad recipes from Food Blogga:
Warm Barley and Fennel Salad
Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad
Watercress, Avocado, and Orange Salad
Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool Date Salad
Wild Arugula and Blood Orange Salad with Prosciutto

Here are more winter salad recipes you might enjoy:
Carrot and Raisin Salad recipe at Homesick Texan
Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad recipe at David Lebovitz
Winter Salad with Fennel, Pear, Orange, and Pecan recipe at The Passionate Cook
Winter Fruit Salad with Persimmons, Pears and Agave-Pomegranate Vinaigrette at Kalyn's Kitchen