I am always really happy to see the blood oranges arrive in the supermarket during their season. I love their gorgeous color and tart flavor. I usually enjoy them as is, but have been wanting to make a winter salad out of them for a while. The recipe, with its contrast of colors between the red oranges, white fennel and black beluga lentils would make this salad fancy enough to serve to guests, but also easy enough to whip up and take for lunches through the week (tip: layer your salads in mason jars with the dressing and heavier ingredients at bottom and greens on top – easy to plate at lunchtime and nothing gets mushy). Outside their season, you can substitute another orange variety, making the recipe accessible year-round.
- 150 gram package mixed mini salad greens
- 1/2 large bulb of fennel, white only, thinly sliced
- 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cooked black beluga lentils*
- 3 blood oranges (or 2 if they are large), peeled and sectioned (reserve juices by squeezing the remaining membranes)
- 1/2 cup pitted brined black olives (such as kalamata or Moroccan)
- 3/4 cup bocconcini pearls (or cubed bocconcini)
- 6 tbsp light tasting olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- juice reserved from blood oranges
- 1/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Layer salad ingredients in order up to and including the bocconcini cheese. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, reserved juices from oranges, salt and pepper to taste. Toss dressing with salad before serving or pass dressing along side.
*to cook lentils, use a quantity of dried lentils in about double the amount of water, i.e. 1 cup of lentils to 2 cups of water, boil at medium until tender but not mushy. They will typically double in size after cooking, so you can gauge your recipe accordingly, but leftover lentils can be added to other salads, wraps or what not. They can also be frozen in a sealed container.