Orange and Radish Salad
- 1 bunch large red globe radishes
- 4 large navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange-flower water*
- 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE:
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- CHILE OIL:
- 1 cup peanut oil
- 6 fresh bird chiles, or to taste
- Place the chiles in the oil in a fancy cruet and allow them to rest for 1 week, until they have flavored the oil. Add a drop or two of the oil to your usual cooking oil for a special zap.
- Yield: 1 cup
Wash the radishes, cut off the green tops and the roots, and grate the radishes into a glass salad bowl. Peel the oranges and segment them, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice. (Remove all the white pith from the orange with a sharp paring knife and then, holding the orange in one hand, run the knife around each segment inside the membrane. Do this over a small bowl to catch the juice.) Place the orange segments in the bowl with the grated radish. Mix the remaining ingredients and the reserved orange juice together in a small bowl and pour the marinade over the radish and orange mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes so that the flavors mix. Serve at room temperature.
*Orange-flower water called zhaar in Morocco and mazahir in Arabic. Orange-flower water is used to impart a subtle flavor to many North African dishes. In Morocco, and the Maghreb, much of the orange-flower water that is consumed is home-distilled from fresh orange blossoms. In the United States, the choices are the Lebanese version that is readily available in shops selling Middle Eastern items and the harder-to-find French variety that can be found at gourmet stores and some shops selling baking supplies. Orange-flower water will last virtually indefinitely, but it loses its potency and becomes slightly cloudy if left on a pantry shelf too long.
Mail Order Sources: African Heritage Foods, DBA Country Cottage Savories, 914-228-1584 Adriana's Caravan, 800-316-0820CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE:
Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small glass bowl and beat well with a fork or wire whisk. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil, making sure that all the ingredients are well mixed. Serve at once in a sauceboat or drizzle over the salad and toss. Yield: about 3/4 cupCHILE OIL:
Wash and top and tail the okra, discarding any blemished or hard pods. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and saute the onion until it is translucent. Add the okra and cook it for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the okra is fork-tender. Add the lemon juice and serve hot.
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