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April 26, 2012 By:
Rivka Tal, Jewish Exponent Feature
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A TASTE OF ISRAEL

Section an orange and your kitchen will be perfumed. Eat it and enjoy.

But don't stop there -- use oranges in salads and sorbets (need I mention their affinity to chocolate); and don't forget chicken or rice dishes.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Orange, Onion and Basil Salad

3 large oranges
3 medium onions
1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
2 Tbsps. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsps. pine nuts (or walnuts)
4 basil leaves, finely chopped

Peel oranges and onions; slice into thin circles. Arrange slices in overlapping concentric circles in a shallow serving bowl.

Combine 1/4 cup olive oil with wine vinegar. Pour over salad. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy, small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and saute, watching carefully, until golden brown.

Sprinkle pine nuts and chopped basil over orange-onion mixture immediately before serving.

Serves 6.

Kiwi-Orange-Avocado Salad

1 orange
4 kiwifruit
1 ripe, fairly-firm avocado
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup poppy seed
2 tsps. red wine vinegar
3 tsps. sugar
1/2 cup toasted almonds (optional)

Remove peel and white pith from the orange and slice into rounds, then in half.

Peel kiwi and slice thinly, crosswise. Peel avocado, remove pit and slice crosswise.

Arrange orange slices, kiwi and avocado in a transparent, decorative bowl.

Combine vegetable oil, poppy seed, red wine vinegar and sugar in a small jar. Shake well. Pour evenly over mixture in bowl.

Top with toasted almonds, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Lemon-Orange Sorbetd
Israeli children call this refreshing dessert "sleet!"

2 tsps. grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
4 cups water
pinch of salt
2 cups orange juice (from about 6 medium oranges)
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
10 strawberries and/or 10 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Combine orange zest and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.

Chill for at least two hours.

Add orange and lemon juice. Combine well.

Pour into a shallow plastic container or into 2 to 3 ice cube trays. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until almost frozen solid.

Remove from freezer and puree for 45 seconds in food processor or blender.

Return to freezer container and keep frozen until about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries and/or mint leaves.

Serves 12.

Fresh Strawberry Sherbet
(Here's a change of pace from oranges.)

2 pints strawberries (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Wash and stem berries. Combine concentrate, water and lemon juice in a blender or food processor.

Add half of the berries. Cover and blend until smooth.

Add remaining berries and continue blending until smooth. Put mixture in a freezer container and freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until almost frozen solid.

Remove from freezer and puree for 45 seconds in food processor or blender. Return to freezer container and keep frozen until about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

Rivka Tal is a former Minnesotan who has lived in Jerusalem for the past 45 years. She is a food writer and translator. Email her at: [email protected].

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