As a self-confessed sweet tooth, I sometimes need a bit of extra conviction to make salads during winter time. Most of the time, the weather just drives me to eat sweet pastries for lunch and decadent creamy sauces with meat and starches for dinner. While summer’s bounty brings oodles of inspiration for fresh and bright salads, winter has a tendency to make us commit guilty diet crimes.
When a salad contains several inspirational ingredients that I love, I’ll be much more inclined to eat it. Especially if it’s ingredients that are not usually associated with salads. Like oranges and wild rice.
This seasonal, colourful, art-on-a-plate salad is perfect for those days where you need extra inspiration to get your fruit & veg fill – with just the right zing to the dressing. It’s a complete meal on its own, but you can also serve it as part of a large buffet lunch/dinner.
The magic lies in the freshness of the ingredients, so choose ripe oranges that are really sweet, baby leaves that are bright and crisp, and beetroot that are small and firm. To save time, I used ready-cooked beetroot from Woolworths, but you should be able to find it at any good supermarket near you.
For the dressing:
- finely grated rind of an orange
- juice of a large orange or two medium oranges
- juice of half a lemon
- 30-45 ml exstra virgin olive oil
- 10 ml wholegrain mustard
- 10 ml Dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
Method: In a small jar, mix all of the ingredients together to form an emulsion (or put a lid on and shake it). Taste for seasoning – it should be generously seasoned.
For the salad: (serves 6 as a side dish)
- a medium size bag of mixed baby leaves (including spinach, watercress, rocket etc.), washed and drained
- 1 cup cooked wild rice, cooled
- 2 oranges, skin removed and cut into rounds
- 2 cups of skinned cooked beetroot, cut into bite size chunks
- 1/4 cup of flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
Method: Stir half of the salad dressing into the cooked cooled rice (stir the dressing well before adding it). Stir through the rice, then add more salt & pepper if necessary. Assemble the salad on a large wide flat platter, starting with leaves, then the dressed rice, oranges, beetroot, and almonds. Drizzle generously with the rest of the dressing and serve cold or at room temperature.
Recipe, text & food preparation: Ilse van der Merwe
Assistant: Elsebé Cronjé
Photography: Tasha Seccombe
Venue for shoot: the demo KITCHEN