What to say about March? It makes me a little crazy, toys with my emotions making me feel much like I’m on a seesaw. One one hand, there’s more light, signs of spring popping up everywhere but on the other, winter’s relentless cold and snow still linger on. But the citrus. The citrus is still bright, sweet and bursting with flavor.
Every year around this time, I suddenly remember how much I like citrus; feeling the need to gorge on Tangelos, Mandarins and Blood Oranges and the occasional succulent but very pricey Sumo Mandarin. Perhaps it has to do with citrus season being nearly over and the basic desire to hold on to it for just a little bit longer. Or maybe it simply has to do with the fruit being in its prime. Either way, I’m finding myself with an abundance of it.
Citrus hasn’t always been part of my life. Growing up, there were a handful of times I recall having it as it wasn’t widely available. And for those times, I’m certain my parents had to jump through hoops to get their hands on them. So despite the year long availability here, to this day I regard citrus as special. So a nice, juicy citrus salad is in order, to celebrate the season. I wanted brightness, salt and sweetness to come through in every bite.
While salty cheese may be an ideal candidate for this salad, cashew cheese is a suitable and quite delicious alternative for the food sensitive crowd or even as a vegan option. A handful of toasted pistachios and sweet and salty dressing bring out the best in the citrus. You can use whatever oranges you want but I opted for Navel, Tangelo and Mandarins. It’s a delicious way to elevate an average orange and bring out its aroma and zest.
And while this salad won’t change March’s unpredictable disposition, it may help to sweetened it up just a little.
citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios
prep time: 5 minutes
soaking time: 2 hours
cooking time: 10 minutes
makes: 2 servings
For the citrus salad
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp pepper
3 oranges of your choice (I used Navel, Tangelo and Mandarins)
1 tbsp crushed toasted pistachios
For the cashew cheese
1/2 cup raw cashews
6 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp lemon
1/8 tsp salt
small pinch garlic powder
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp water
medium mixing bowl
2 small mixing bowl
Add cashews in small bowl and completely cover with water. Set aside and let soak for 2 hours.
Combine soaked cashews with the remaining ingredients under cashew cheese and add to food processors. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 and roast pistachios for 10 minutes until toasted.
Using a pairing knife, remove orange skin. Slice oranges and place them on plate.
Combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, honey and pepper and whisk well.
To plate, drizzle dressing over oranges, top with toasted pistachios and add as much cashew cheese as you’d like.
You can store the cashew cheese in an air tight container for one week.