3/4/08 I've made a correction to this recipe - one of the ingredients listed has been corrected.
Salad dressings. A mixed bag, for sure. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may know already that I'm very picky about salad dressings. There's really only one bottled dressing I'll buy (Brianna's Blush Vinaigrette) and I use it only occasionally, when I'm simply too lazy to make a fresh dressing. I thoroughly enjoy green salads, and the dressing certainly adds to the enjoyment of them.
But I despair sometimes finding anything that's lower in calorie. So, when I find something that IS delicious AND lower in fat and calories, I whoop for joy. This is one of those recipes. I found it at egullet.com a year or so ago and put it aside to try. Ideally, you'll want to make this when Navel oranges are in season (like now). I doubt it would be so good using Valencia oranges. And it isn't a recipe you can whip up in 3-4 minutes because you have to remove the orange segments and finely mince the jalapeno chile, then cook the mixture before pureeing in a blender. But if you have a few minutes and would like to try something quite different, this is your ticket. The first time I used it I made a regular green salad (regular for me, that is, means the salad contained a variety of chopped fresh vegetables). I thought the dressing was lost in the mix, as the vegetables predominated. The next time I made a simple salad with only greens, and we both enjoyed it very much. The greens only allow the orange and jalapeno flavors to come through. It would likely be very good on a salad mixed with some fruit, like apple slices, maybe a few raisins even. Or dried cranberries.
I don't know what "honey blossom vinegar" is, other than vinegar that's infused with some kind of flower called a "honey blossom?" Maybe somebody knows. I don't have that ingredient, so used rice wine vinegar, and the "seasoned" type rather than the more tart rice wine vinegar which has no sugar added.
Cook's Notes: Use normal sized oranges, as using really large oranges may throw off the balance of acid to sweet. Or, just don't put in all of the orange segments. I used just ONE jalapeno chile, and it actually could take another half. I was concerned it would be too hot. I also added a bit more grape seed oil to the mixture (see note below) because it just didn't have quite enough oil in it. This is a juice-based dressing, so don't toss the salad until just before you're serving it, as it may wilt the greens. And, serve with a simple greens-only salad; adding vegetables takes away from the delicate flavor of the oranges.
Orange Jalapeno Vinaigrette
Recipe: adapted from egullet.com
2 whole oranges, peeled, segmented
1 1/2 whole jalapeno chiles, seeded, finely minced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or Splenda
2 tablespoons honey blossom vinegar, or 2 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup grape seed oil, (original called for 1/4 cup)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. In a saucepan place the oranges, jalapenos, juice, water and sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in a blender and puree. Add honey or vinegar and oil while blending. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and adjust seasoning, or taste, using a lettuce leaf to dip lightly into it before adding salt and pepper. Refrigerate. Use within one week.
Per Serving: 53 Calories; trace Fat (1.4% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
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