Friday, 14 July 2006
The Spice is Right IV: It’s Too Darned Hot! 1
(It IS too darned hot!!! It’s going up to 30C today I think…))
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Once again the task set for the “Spice is Right (SiR)” is a difficult one. Barbara (Tigers and Strawberries) asked us to use chiles –
fresh, frozen, roasted, dried whole and reconstituted, dried and powdered, dried and flaked, or ground or whatever for this month’s SiR. Yes, that’s right. Chiles!
Oh dear! We use chiles in just about everything we eat, no matter how hot, cold, or what time of year it is. How was I to decide what to do?!
But then on a festive evening last week, this wonderful salad presented itself. It’s the perfect salad for a hot day – refreshing and cooling. It can be made in advance or it can be made right at the time. It’s perfect for picnics or for elegant sit-down dinners. When I think about it, it’s actually a perfect salad for just about any time of year or just about any occasion…
This time, instead of crushing dried cayennes with a pestle and mortar the way I usually do, I decided to use some of the toasted crushed dried cayennes we have in a jar in the fridge. Earlier this year, we dry toasted lots of chiles in a frying pan. The flavour of toasted chiles is quite wonderful – a little smoky and, well… toasty.
Orange, Red Onion, Fennel Salad
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ c cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 – 2 crushed dried chili peppers
- 2 navel oranges, sliced thinly
- orange zest
- ½ fennel bulb, sliced thinly
- ½ red onion, sliced thinly
- salt & pepper to taste
- mint leaves, chopped
- fennel fronds, chopped
- Into a small bowl put oil, vinegar, chili pepper, honey. Whisk it together for a minute or two. Set aside.
- Wash oranges well and zest one. Put the zest into the bowl. Peel oranges, making sure to get rid of the pith. Slice thinly in rounds. Place in the serving dish.
- Peel red onion and slice thinly in rounds. Add to the oranges.
- Trim fennel bulb. Julienne and add to the oranges and onions.
- Pour the dressing overtop and toss. Add salt and pepper. Cover the serving dish with plastic and refrigerate until serving time.
- At serving time, toss the salad once more, adding the mint and fennel fronds.