Friday, November 28, 2008

Cara Cara Oranges

We are doing a salad here at Pacific Grill--perfect for the Winter season-- now that oranges are at their peak.

The ingredients consist of roasted baby beets, Cara Cara oranges, fresh goat cheese, a variety of greens, sliced red onion, glazed spiced pecans, and citrus vinaigrette.

The Cara Cara orange is sometimes called a red navel orange. It originated at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela, hence the name. Cara Cara oranges have a bright orange peel and pink-ish flesh. They look a little like a grapefruit, have a sweet taste with undertones of cherry and a low acid profile.

Here is the recipe for the Citrus Vinaigrette serves approx 6:

1 medium shallot minced

1/4 tsp garlic minced

1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/4 fresh vanilla bean scraped [can be left out]

Blend all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and correct the seasoning on a piece of lettuce to make sure the flavors are balanced. Refrigerate until needed.

HINT: Do not taste the salad dressing from a spoon or your finger as you will get a better idea actually tasting it on a lettuce leaf or making a tiny "mini" salad to make sure the flavors are balanced and enough salt and pepper is in the dressing, enhancing the salad's taste.