Sicilian Blood Orange Salad

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I am seriously loving all of the fresh, summer flavours at the moment! The weather here in the UK has been glorious and it has totally been inspiring my cooking. I picked up these gorgeous blood oranges the other day with no clue what to make and then decided I wanted to make a juicy salad similar to one I had in Italy a long time ago! This dish is perfect for a summer BBQ with friends and is very easy to whip up. With spinach, spelt, red onion, blood orange, feta and pistachio it is packed with fresh flavour. It is then dressed with a blood orange vinaigrette that is to-die for! You may think why spelt? It has a delicious chewy texture that adds some bulk to the salad and it has loads of nutritional benefits too. Either cook your own from scratch or pick up pouches of pre-cooked spelt to make your life a bit easier. It is actually very simple to cook, I cooked mine in the morning before I made the salad and then allowed it to chill in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the salad, that way you aren't putting a warm, wet grain in to your salad! Blood oranges can be a bit tricky to come by but they are in season at the moment so keep your eyes peeled. If you can't find blood oranges, regular ones will be delicious too!

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Sicilian Blood Orange Salad

Serves: 4-6

Time: 20 minutes

 

Nutrition

Blood Oranges: Packed with vitamin C!

Spelt: Great source of fibre and protein.

Spinach: Loaded with iron, folate, vitamin K and vitamin C.

Feta: Great source of calcium and protein.

 

Ingredients

125g spinach

2 blood oranges

160g dry spelt

1/2 red onion

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped

80g feta cheese 

Dressing:

Juice of 1 blood orange

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

1/4 cup olive oil 

Salt & pepper

 

Method:

1. To cook your spelt (do this a few hours before or even the day before), add the dry spelt to a saucepan with twice the amount of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the spelt is chewy but tender. Rinse with cold water, drain and pop it in the fridge for later.

2. Juice the orange and whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl or jug. Add a crack of salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside. 

3. Finely slice the onion and add to a large bowl with the spinach and the cooked spelt. 

4. Slice your 2 oranges in to 1-2cm slices, discarding the end slices (or eat them!). Then slice off the rind around the edge in a hexagon fashion, I stack two slices together and do two at the same time. 

5. Pour your dressing over the salad - if you only like a hint of dressing then just add as much as you like and save the rest for another salad. Toss the salad with salad forks until everything is well coated.

6. Arrange the salad on a platter or large plate. Pop your orange hexagons on the top.

7. Crumble the feta cheese over the top and finish with a sprinkle of your chopped pistachios.

This salad keeps well covered in the fridge until the next day, but it will go a bit soggy past that. The dressing will keep for a week.

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