So the big day's here and you're all set to go with your romantic meal and...oops, maybe you're not. Maybe you had the best of intentions but kind of left things to the last minute. Maybe your face is appropriately Valentine's Day beet red but not from joy but from panic because you don't know what the heck you're going to make for that special dinner tonight and it's only hours away!! Ok, take a deep breath, it's going to be ok (they'll still love you even if you bring in a pizza--there were times when that would be the only thing my troops would have wanted) but if you still really, really want to go full out Valentine-mode, this aptly named Love Ya' Salad can be put together in no time and is filled with all the must-have pinks and reds of the day as well as heart-healthy fruits and veggies! C'mon admit it, you LOVE me!!
No, but seriously, the hardest part of this salad is getting to the market to pick up the supplies, so if you've got that, you'll be a-ok. Color is key here, so find the best of what you can in the red department. I chose blood oranges, raspberries, radicchio, baby red leaf lettuce and radishes, but you could also use pomegranate or pink grapefruit or strawberries or dried cranberries--this salad is very versatile and pretty much fool-proof.
Even me, a boring salad lover (I could totally eat my balsamic vinaigrette dressed arugula every night for a year and not get tired of it!) liked this and my husband went wild over it, especially the blood-orange based dressing which has that savory/sweet thing going on as well as that pretty splash of pink that it adds. So much color, flavor and texture!! It's a thing of beauty!!
So tonight, don't stress about it and let Love Ya' Salad do Cupid's work. I guarantee they'll love ya' for it!! xoxo
Love Ya' Salad
Prep Time: About 25 minutes to make the orange syrup and another 10-15 to let it chill, meanwhile you can prepare the rest of the salad
For the Orange Syrup
- 2-3 blood oranges
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
For the salad
- 1 small head radicchio
- 2-3 cups baby red leaf lettuce (or any other red tinged lettuce you like)
- 2 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin circles
- 1 blood orange or 1/2 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
- 1 handful of fresh raspberries
- Chopped, toasted almonds (or any nut you prefer)
- 1/2-3/4 cup fresh ricotta (or any other cheese you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. To make the orange syrup: Squeeze the blood oranges until you have a scant 1/2 cup of juice. Place in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup and a pinch of salt and stir together. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 20-25 minutes, until mixture has reduced and you are left with about 3 tablespoons of thick syrup. Strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2. Remove the leaves from the radicchio and tear into pieces. Place into a medium bowl. Add red leaf lettuce or whatever other salad greens you are using. Toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Divide salad between two plates and decoratively top with the radishes, oranges, raspberries, almonds and scoops of ricotta. Drizzle with the cooled orange syrup and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi. I tinkered around a lot with this and subbed in and out lots of veggies and changed proportions.