I was inspired by a dish I ate at a local restaurant while having lunch with my cousin last week. We sat outside on a café table shaded by an umbrella and had a great time people watching as we chatted about old times. It was a lovely afternoon with clear blue skies, a slight sea breeze, and lots of visual entertainment.
This time of year when many people refrain from eating meat for a few weeks or the weather is too hot and oppressive to sustain an appetite for heavy dishes; this salad is a great alternative. Salad is refreshing and light and at the same time quite flavorful. This salad is a complete meal served with a small bowl of pasta and some crunchy baguette.
3 juicy seedless oranges
4 cups wild arugula, prewashed
1 medium fennel bulb
2 ounces goat cheese
½ cup toasted shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large pluot
With a very sharp knife peel oranges, taking care to remove all white pith. Slice oranges into circles about ¼ inch thick. Arrange sliced oranges on bottom of serving platter. Place arugula in a large glass bowl. Wash and dry fennel bulb and using a hand held mandolin type slicer or a potato peeler shave only the white part of fennel bulb over arugula into bowl. Use green stalks of fennel to hold it while you shave fennel.
Break goat cheese into ¾ inch chunks and roll into ball with your hands. Chop pistachios on a cutting board into coarse pieces with a sharp knife. Roll goat cheese balls into chopped pistachios to coat them.
Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Pour dressing into arugula and fennel bowl. Toss greens to mix with dressing. Arrange greens on platter over oranges, leaving some orange showing around the edges. Season with Salt and pepper to taste. Place goat cheese balls around the perimeter of salad. Finally peel and slice pluot and place as a colorful garnish around edges of salad and sprinkle salad with any remaining chopped pistachios. Serve. This serves two to four depending on what you serve it with.