Does anyone else out there love Amanda Hesser? If you don't, don't tell me. If you don't know who I'm talking about, she's this super skinny food writer (Ok, that's wierd.) for the New York Times. In the Julie/Julia book and movie, she's the one who comes to Julie's apartment for dinner. I just like the way she talks about food in restaurants or cooking, and her recipes are consistantly interesting and delicious.
Last weekend she wrote about a spicy morroccan orange salad that sounded
b) really good and
c) composed entirely of things I had on hand.
Here it is. The items in italics are my modifications because I have problems with authority and can't really follow directions. I don't think they detracted from the general flavor/intent of the dish. I needed to use the avacado before it went bad and I didn't want to have to make a separate green vegetable (hence the spinach). The Hooligans like goat cheese; I had to snatch it away from the big one before he ate it all with a spoon.
4 oranges, pith cut off and cut into 8 chunks apiece
1/4 t cayanne
1/4 t paprika (I used smoked)
3 T olive oil
2 T red wine
1 T white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 t minced fresh garlic
12 kalamata type olives, pitted and coarsly chopped
3 T chevre or feta, crumbled
1 avacado, chopped
1/2 bunch spinach, coarsly chopped
Throw all ingredients in a big bowl and stir it around until everything is thoroughly coated with spices, oil and vinegars, and juice from the oranges. If the oranges aren't really good, don't bother. Make something else. I served this with oven roasted baby potatoes and grilled chicken. I thought my head might explode--it was that good. One hooligan only liked the orange part of the salad and the other only liked the spinach. They fought over the olives. (The Hooligans will eat anything. They're strange that way.) We demolished it before I thought of taking a picture, but you can see it as it ought to be in the New York Times on line--the Dining and Wine section.