DemosNews: Oranges, the Winter Tomato
Oranges, the Winter Tomato
By: Kate Collins

No sense eating large, fresh tomatoes during the winter in northern climes. The last heirloom beefsteaks ebb from gardens and farmersí markets early October, which are the resonant ones we long for. Those hard red objects present in stores during the cold months simply resemble tomatoes. If absolutely necessary, certain cherry tomatoes at least maintain a whiff of flavor and can sub until June.

Instead, I switch to thin slices of orange to provide brightness and juice for sandwiches and salads. My favorite, which Iíve not encountered before this year, is the Cara Cara orange from South Africa and California that has lovely red flesh and spicy sweetness. Blood oranges or any standard eating orange without stringy membranes or seeds, however, serve perfectly well. Sheer off the peel and any trace of white pith, and slice or segment.

For a sandwich, treat yourself to one of the delicious fruit mustards from Italy as a companion condiment (if you can find them.) Good bread, pear or crabapple mustard, slices of smoked turkey, cheese, watercress or arugula or a lettuce leaf, and a couple of orange slices make a luscious, quick sandwich.

For salads, swap lemon juice for vinegar as dressing component: 1 tbl lemon, ¼ tsp Dijon mustard, 4 tbl olive oil, a minced garlic clove or two, a minced shallot, salt and pepper. Or try a little fig vinegar all by itself. Any composed salad benefits. The one pictured here happens to have smoked peppered mackerel, watercress, buffalo mozzarella, niçoise olives, and oranges. But a bit of ham or thinly sliced rare beef or lamb, or avocado, or paper thin radish slices, or whatever is at hand in the icebox, jumps to life with citrus. Another tempting mix is blood oranges, red onions and fennel bulb (all sliced very thin), a few Calamata olives for spark, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Oranges even perform surprisingly well as an heretical stand-in for tomatoes in tabbouleh or salade niçoise.

Or abandon the thought of tomatoes entirely, and create a little Moroccan side dish of red radishes, grated or thinly sliced, diced oranges, a tad of sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and lemon.

© 2021 Kate Collins of DemosNews

February 22, 2008 at 8:46pm
DemosRating: 4.67
Hits: 1405

Genre: Food (Recipes)
Type: Creative
Tags: recipe, salads, sandwiches

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