Citrus, date and marcona almond salad

So here’s the thing.

I have a food blog and ostensibly like to cook but the truth is, the idea of feeding myself 3 meals a day Monday-Friday overwhelms me.

I love good food and I love to cook good food but cooking good food (and now writing about cooking good food) while also working 10+ hours a day is a daunting task.

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On a good week, I commit to making one delicious thing that I can eat for several days, like a fabulous white bean stew or lentil soup. But on a bad week, even that escapes me. Other people, I am told, make fantastic salads that can be thrown together with ease in the morning before heading to work.

So here’s another confession: I make TERRIBLE salads. I have the best intentions; I’ll throw in something sweet, something salty, something that’s protein on a bed of whatever greens are bothering me the least that week. But I still usually miss the mark.

Come lunchtime, I either push it around my plate dejectedly and manage to eat 3/4, or (and I can’t believe I’m admitting this) I toss it out and go to Chipotle.

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That’s where this salad I’m about to tell you about comes into play. It’s the anti-sad desk lunch, the solution to my salad antipathy, something so easy even I, a self-proclaimed salad hack, can’t mess up.

It’s bright and sweet and salty all at the same time, and it even lends itself to spinoffs. Like, for example, while I usually make it with regular oranges and a “dressing” made of lemon juice and olive oil, here I’m topping it with blood oranges, prosciutto and a vinaigrette made with orange muscat vinegar. (I also omitted the dates by accident. You shouldn’t do that.)

But how about I stop talking about it and just give you the recipe? Yes? Yes.

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Citrus and marcona almond salad
(adapted, originally from Bon Appetit but reproduced here)

(Measurements here are pretty rough, you can do whatever you’re feeling. You could also do that even if I didn’t tell you to. Never listen to me.)

2-3 cups arugula or other green
Handful of marcona almonds, roughly chopped
3-4 pitted dates, cut in fourths
1 orange (or blood orange) peeled and segmented, segments cut in half
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan (optional)
2-3 slices proscuitto, torn into strips (optional)

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Salt + pepper

OR add a vinegar of your choice–I used Trader Joe’s orange muscat champagne vinegar with a squeeze of lemon juice

If serving immediately, toss the arugula in olive oil and lemon juice (or vinegar). Otherwise, mix the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside until ready to use; then toss with arugula.

Top dressed greens with all other ingredients.

 

Orange, data and arugula salad: http://www.myrecipebook.com/print.html?user=museumgrl&id=1741

 

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