Oranges

When oranges and clementines appear in grocery stores, they serve as reminders that winter is almost upon us – a time to boost up vitamin C. Clementines are an easy-to-peel fruit, while the more difficult Navel, Jaffa, and blood oranges are still worth the effort as they can add color and crispness to a salad. The acidity in oranges also helps counter fats in poultry. As I was roasting my favorite bird, duck, this past week, news started to trickle in about Beirut and Paris.

As both these cities share history, and both have world-renowned cuisines, honoring their food traditions seemed appropriate for the time. Food, in both these cities, is more about celebration of life, and eating out  is part of both cultures. In the classic French dish, duck à l’orange, duck is served with a rich orange sauce. In the mezze traditions of Lebanese cuisine, oranges perk up simple salads and orange blossom water suffuses desserts with delicate flavor.

Roasted Duck, Lettuce, and Orange Salad 

Frisée lettuce – 1, bunch

Oranges – 2, large

Wine vinegar – 6-8 tbsp

Olive/Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Salt and pepper – to taste

Roasted duck leg/breast – 1, thinly sliced

  • Wash the orange. Julienne about 10 zests into thin slivers and keep aside. Cut the oranges crosswise in ¼-inch rounds.
  • Add the wine vinegar in a pan, and heat until it is just warm. Remove from heat.
  • Add the orange zests, and let them steep in the warm vinegar.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the vinegar. Keep this vinaigrette aside.
  • Assemble the washed lettuce on a platter. Remove the white pith from around the oranges and place them on the lettuce.
  • When ready to serve, pour the vinaigrette over the orange and lettuce.
  • Layer the duck slices between the oranges.

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