Wednesday, October 25, 2006
This is a simplified version of a salad in Deborah Madison's The Savory Way, one of my most loved cookbooks. The original recipe includes pistachios and a kind of deconstructed vinaigrette - a separate drizzle of oil and vinegar or pomegranate juice. The nuts and oil would add a good bass note to round out and ground the dish, but even without them the flavours of this salad work amazingly well together - I love the pomegranate seeds with the onion.
You need a bit of planning ahead in order to make the pickled onions. Deborah Madison's pickled onion recipe appears in other cookbooks of hers as well, and is a great standby. The only thing I change about them is to add a few whole spices.
Pickled onions: Slice one medium red onion into very thin rings and sprinkle with about 1 tbs of sugar; cover with vinegar and add a couple of whole cloves or allspice. You can use the onions after about 20 minutes, but if you are using the spices it takes a week or more for the flavours to develop. Keep in a closed container in the fridge.
Salad: Cut peel off oranges and slice into rounds. Arrange orange pieces on a plate and put rings of pickled onion on top; scatter with pomegranate seeds and serve. Use one small to medium orange for each person you are serving. One pickled onion and one pomegranate is enough for several servings.