While traveling through the South of France, we befriended an artist who said she painted “in the evenings because that’s when the light is best.” Later that week, while driving around the countryside, we found ourselves surrounded by that late afternoon glow… and realized she was right. And ever since then, my favorite time of day has been the late afternoon, just before the sun goes down. It’s when the garden is draped in sunshine and glitters like gold.
So earlier this week, when I came home from the office early enough to catch this late-afternoon glow, I was thrilled to discover how much lettuce we had. Knowing I had 15 minutes to get a good shot before the sun went down, I grabbed a colander and picked some greens. On the way back to house, I stopped at the tangerine tree to grab a few tangerines, then headed in to stir a quick vinaigrette. With 10 minutes to spare, I made a quick salad, found a spot on the patio and enjoyed a late-afternoon snack.
A quick note on the salad: We used a California Honey Balsamic Vinegar that we found while on a weekend trip to Temecula. The Blood Orange Olive Oil is also from CA. Combine the two with a bit of mustard, some fine sea salt and white pepper, and you’ve got yourself a light citrus vinaigrette.
Few things are more satisfying than a garden snack in the late-afternoon sunlight.
What’s your favorite time of day?
Winter Salad with California Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
~ Serves 2 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 2 ounces mixed garden lettuce
- 2 small tangerines
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon white honey balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon blood orange-infused extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Grind of white pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried blueberries
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Carefully wash and dry lettuce; tear leaves into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Peel and split tangerines and set aside with lettuce.
- Dip the tip of a small narrow whisk into a jar of Dijon mustard. When you pull the whisk out, you’ll have about a ¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard. In 1-quart glass bowl, pour in the vinegar. Stir it with the Dijon-drenched whisk. Slowly drizzle in the oil, a few drops at a time, while whisking the vinegar. Finish with pinch of salt and grind of pepper.
- Add to the bowl, lettuce, tangerine slices, dried blueberries and sliced almonds; toss to coat.
- Divide into two plates and serve immediately.
Nutrition content per serving: 184 calories, 19g carbs, 2g protein, 12g fat, 5g fiber
Cost per serving: $0.35 – $2.10
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro