Sunday, 16 February 2014

Blood Orange, Walnut and Ricotta Salad

London was awash with blood oranges last week; every menu we turned to was doing something with them. Margot drizzled them over an impressive looking cheesecake, The Clove Club served them with a delicious goats curd and emerald green fennel granita, Quo Vadis had them with campari or a fennel salad, and Spuntino in a sprightly salad with walnuts. We ate so well, as you might have gathered... I would highly recommend all of the above if you are dining out in the big smoke any time soon...


So instead of filling my bags with the wonders of Liberty jewellery department, which I really wanted to do; I filled my handbag with blood oranges from a delightful little shop called Leila’s near Rochelle Canteen, and brought them all the way back to Newcastle. I realise this is not the most sensible way to shop, but I was worried I wasn’t going to find any in Newcastle and I had Valentine’s diners to feed...

This is a very simple little salad, but very tasty. To serve two for lunch or four as a side, take a bag of watercress, spinach and rocket, one or all varieties will do. I made a little dressing of extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of maple syrup, salt and pepper, shake it all up and dress the leaves well.



Peel one blood orange and slice thinly, they are so beautiful inside, each one different; then toast a large handful of walnuts and mix both through the leaves. Finally top with some crumbled ricotta. A delicious addition to my salad repertoire if I do say so... The warm toasted walnuts are delicious with the sweet rich orange, creamy ricotta and peppery leaves. I’m on the lookout for more blood oranges to carry on enjoying them while the short season lasts...

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