Nov 2007

Citrus Salad Dressing

1/3 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp. salt (or a little more, to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Mix well, until salt dissolves.  Whisk in:
1 c. EV olive oil.

The salad consists of baby greens, tossed with some of the dressing, (the longer you toss, the less dressing you have to use)  and garnished with fresh red Texas grapefruit, avocado slices, thinly sliced red onion rings, (crisped in ice water) and pomegranate seeds. You peel the grapefruit, using a knife to remove the inner membrane. Then either cut the sections out from between the membranes, or slice the fruit crosswise.  Sections are better for tossed, either is nice for a composed salad.

As you can see, it's a French vinaigrette using orange juice instead of vinegar.  I think I have successfully used the squeezings from sectioning the grapefruit instead of o.j. at times.  Lemon juice makes it Italian, Balsamic vinegar makes it sweet.  You can add garlic, but not with all these other flavors; that would have to be for a simpler salad.

A nice variation on this uses Romaine, Vidalia onions, Haas avocados and Naval oranges. Use lemon juice (from Meyer lemons, if you can get them) in the dressing and add 1 tsp. honey and 1 tsp. poppy seeds.  This is Southern California on a plate!

Conditioning Evergreen Foliage

This afternoon, Anne Madden gave me some wonderful variegated Euonymus to use in my program for Homeland Garden Club on Monday. Anne's shrub grows in her front yard, in shade, and is marked with white instead of yellow. She waits to prune it for shape until this time of year because it is so beautiful in garlands and wreaths. Anne also gave me some Japanese Yew, Gold-Dust Acuba, and Ilex crestata (Japanese Holly).

I've brought the clippings home and submerged them in a tub of warm water, clipping their cut ends once again under the surface. Soaking them overnight will let them take up lots of water. I will probably drain and pick them over before church tomorrow, unless they are going to start looking waterlogged. You have to take them up and stand them with just their stems in warm nutrient solution BEFORE they get soggy, not after. The Euonymus is not as tough as the other foliage I have, so it will come out in the morning. The others can wait until after church.

Tomorrow, I will gather English Box and Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) for the program, too.