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Chicories Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 medium head escarole, or a variety of smaller tender winter chicories, which range in color from the deep red of Treviso, to speckled to pale greens
  • 1 large or 2 small blood oranges, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp. finely minced shallot
  • Juice of ½ Meyer lemon or regular lemon
  • 2 tsp. sherry wine vinegar, preferably Spanish
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard (Coleman’s) powder
  • 1-3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash the greens, and tear or cut them to bite-sized pieces and place in a salad bowl. Use a microplane grater to remove about one teaspoon of the bright orange zest from the orange, and set this aside in a small bowl, then squeeze the juice into a small pot. Cook the juice down to the point where it starts to get a little bit thick and syrupy, reducing it by about half. Meanwhile, chop the shallot and add to the zest, along with the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and mustard powder, and mix. When the juice is reduced, add it to the bowl, making sure to use a rubber spatula to get all of it. Add a good pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper, and then drizzle in oil, beating with a fork to keep the dressing emulsified as you do so, until you’ve achieved a nice balance of sweet and tart.

Lightly dress the salad with the dressing, and serve. It doesn’t need another thing—but if you want, you could dress up the plate in myriad ways, with sections of blood orange, some walnuts, some goat cheese, whatever you happen to have that you like.