Sunday I had the pleasure of being invited back to do several cooking demonstrations at the very successful Saint Mary’s Olive Oil Festival. I like to mix things up so I invited my good friend and great cook Marianne to be the guest chef of the occasion. The deal was that she could make anything she wanted as long as California Extra Virgin Olive Oil was one of the main ingredients of the dish. As expected her choice was fantastic! This delicious salad can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a light summer meal, or as passed hors d’oeuvres.
For the Salad:
4 large handfuls Arugula
4 oz Bresaola, sliced paper thin, almost translucent
1-2 bulbs Fennel, sliced thin, (I use a mandolin)
1/4 red onion, sliced thin, (I use a mandolin) – If onions are strong, I soak them in a little ice water with lemon and pinch of salt
3-4 Oranges or Tangerines ( cut into segments removing all white pith)
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 Lemon
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Lay Bresaola around a large serving plate. Place Arugula in center, in a mound. In a small bowl mix dressing ingredients.
In a medium bowl, toss sliced fennel, red onion, and orange/tangerine wedges. Add dressing. Taste for seasoning. Spoon mixture on top of Arugula. Drizzle remaining dressing on top of plate of Bresaola (or if not any dressing left, olive oil is perfect to drizzle too.) Serve immediately.
During winter months, blood oranges are not only a delicious option, but they are beautiful too. In summer, yellow peaches may be used instead of oranges.
*Bresaola is a dry, salt cured beef from Italy. It is similar to Prosciutto, but much leaner. It is also nice served on its own, placed on a single layer on plate drizzled lightly with olive oil and and a little lemon juice.
Cook with your heart! (and make sure you use California Extra Virgin Olive Oil!!) Rima