Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Supreme Combo

A few weeks ago I saw Claire Robinson (a relatively new chef on the Food Network) coat broccoli florets with orange juice and olive oil and roast them in the oven. Pretty interesting combination I thought, must try that. I must also mention that after she roasted the broccoli, she combined it with heavy cream on the stove top and did some sort of mash. It looked interesting as well, but I skipped that part and just did the roast. Great idea Claire. Thanks!

Here's what I did:

Orange Infused Roasted Broccoli
adapted from 5 Ingredient Fix

4 cups broccoli florets
juice of one orange
3T canola oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl combine orange juice, oil, salt and pepper. Add florets and toss with oil/orange liquid to cover. Place florets on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until edges of broccoli are caramelized. Cool slightly and serve as a side dish or healthy snack.

I nibbled on these caramelized bits of goodness for two days and then bought more broccoli. And this time I took the dish a step further too. You know how much I like pasta and salads and creamy dressings- see where I'm going here? I decided I'd bump up the citrus, create a dressing that sings and put together a salad that would work as a side or light lunch I could take to work.

Roasted Broccoli and Orange Salad

4 cups roasted broccoli florets (above recipe)

2 navel oranges- they have no seeds

1 cup penne pasta uncooked- I use Dreamfields

1/2 cup scallions sliced 1/2 inch


zest of one orange

1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup rice vinegar- any white wine vinegar should work here as well

2T sugar or Splenda

pinch of salt


Roast broccoli according to recipe. While broccoli is roasting, cook pasta according to package directions, then drain, rinse and set aside to cool. Zest one of the oranges and set zest aside- you'll be using it in the dressing. Now it's time to supreme the oranges. Supreming an orange is when you remove the skin and pith and slice around the orange membranes (the white stringy things that hold the orange segments together) and you come up with a "clean" wedge of fruit. Rachel Rappaport has a lovely pictorial of supreming an orange here.

After supreming is done set orange wedges aside and make the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk until smooth. Now, if you're questioning the amount of sugar in this dressing- believe me I did too. I started with a teaspoon and wasn't getting the oomph I was looking for until I hit two tablespoons.

Now to assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine broccoli, pasta and scallions. Add about half the dressing and toss to combine well. Add orange wedges and lightly toss again. Refrigerate until chilled, re-dress if necessary and serve.

The best part about this salad, aside from the taste, is how you can jazz it up, or add your own personality. My favorites so far are:

Thinly sliced red Fresno peppers- love the color and the spicy bite

Crumbled turkey bacon-everything's better with bacon

Kalamata olives- the contrast between the sweet dressing and the salty olives is the way I looove my food

Toasted almonds- well, they're good on everything

And let's not forget, as tasty as this salad is, the stars of the dish offer some very healthy benefits. Broccoli and oranges both protect your heart and possibly combat cancer. Broccoli also strengthens bones, controls blood pressure and helps with eyesight. Oranges, as we all know by now, support our immune system and hey- they're just so sweet and juicy. Orange you glad you're going to make this salad?

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