I clearly cannot get over the gorgeousness of the orange this year — and it's not even my favourite colour!
They do say it's the runaway top trend on the summer runways; but I'm better at wolfing it down than at wearing it. I'd use them to accessorize my snack bag, but I don't think I'll be seeing any fresh ones in summer around here!
Yes, I strive to eat mostly seasonal and local (smarter for my wallet too, because I can then buy more). But occasionally, I will buy just the one piece of exotic fruit that I can't get around here — at least not in good shape. So a couple of times a year, I actually buy an orange.
The 'real' thing, not the old mandarin. The South African import, that is.
Between the air miles and Beverly Naidoo, it is never an entirely guilt-free purchase (much like making my peace with eating meat). Which means I tend to make the most-est of that one fruit when I bring it home.
No, a single snack will not do. It must first be zested at its freshest. Then I have to decide whether to put it in a tagine or add it to the roasting tin. Every so often, it gets baked into a big cake. However, when I find myself in a particularly self-indulgent mood, I make salad. (Serves two, naturally.) That's what happened last week.
This particular version was especially luxurious, because I'd bagged a bag of rocket at the supermarket — a very rare frond for these parts. Plus, I had hoarded a tiny tin of smoked sardines — a treat from a working holiday (probably his?) — in the larder.
Between the sardines packed in oil and the orange, it needed no dressing, no salt. I simply got tossing.
Rocket, Orange and Smoked Sardine Salad
1 bag (about 200g, give or take a score) rocket leaves*
~100g tin of smoked sardines**
Lots of freshly ground black pepper!
- Peel the orange — really, just take a paring knife and cut away the peel carefully. Segment it, cutting along the dividing lines of pith, over a bowl (to catch the juices). Squeeze the membranes left in your hand to get the last bit of juice — no wasting that jet fuel! The segments go into your salad bowl, of course.
- Wash and tear up the greens, if need be. Dump them over the the oranges.
- Drain the tin of sardines into the orange juice. Plop the fish into the salad bowl.
- Whisk the 'dressing' together and taste — if a tad too tart, add a drip of honey. Get your pepper in. Pour over the salad and stick your hands in there to toss (trust me, olive and orange oils are great for your skin!).
- Go out into the light and eat your sunny, peppery lunch.
**Any other smoked fish is great too. Of course, if you're using smokies or salmon, you'll need to add a couple of spoons of extra-virgin olive oil by way of dressing. Alternatively, a couple of anchovies would be lovely. Or smoked bacon strips, microwaved till crisp. Try smoked Bandel cheese, or maybe feta and walnuts, if you're vegetarian.