Latin Twist: Catalan Salad

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Variation on a Catalan SaladYes, my friends, many of us have two things on our mind: getting rid of this frigid weather and the Super Bowl. Okay, of course I may be oversimplifying, but I bet I’ve touched a familiar chord with many.

And speaking of familiar chords, let’s talk about things we might be yearning for. I’m guessing that warmth is among them. Well maybe that, and some fun, bright, bold snacks.Salad is probably not the first snack that comes to mind, only for me, mis queridos amigos, and stay with me here, I’m thinking sunshine in my salad! This leads me to today’s Latin Twist post: the Catalan salad.

Now por supuesto, of course, there are many Calatalan salads. This one is a version I recreated after a visit to Marga’s, my old roommate’s home in Barcelona, Spain. (She put out the most amazing spread…but we’ll save that tale for another time!) The Catalan salad is a perfect lunch, dinner, or brunch side dish or even stand-alone meal!

Color, flavor, and texture, as I’ve mentioned before, are the three considerations I prize most in the creation of a dish; this one is no exception. I’m sure you’ll find ways to enjoy this one, whether or not you’re watching the Super Bowl!     ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Catalan Salad

Serving Size: 6 to 8

This salad brings in the sunshine on a cool winter's day. It also balances those other fun and fried snacks that we often enjoy this time of year!

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 6 oranges, seeded, pith removed, and sliced (you can also cut them into quarter slices)
  • 3/4 cup sliced black olives
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Red onion caramelized in olive oil and fresh blood orange or other orange juice
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Excellent quality olive oil

Instructions

  1. Blanket a serving plate with baby spinach.
  2. Layer the orange slices on top, followed by the olives, pomegranate seeds, and caramelized onion. Top with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil (this is your finishing touch!) just before serving.
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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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