Fridays nights in winter, Mr TBTAM plays tennis, so I’m on my own. It’s my night out with the girls or a good time to shop, get a cut and color or a mani-pedi.
This Friday night, however, all I really to do was be home. It was freezing cold outside, and I knew the rest of the weekend was going to be busy. After an even busier week, I was craving some alone time.
The default mode would be take out, but I wanted a good meal, not a slice or some lo mein. And something that would hold up well for leftovers tomorrow as a nice Valentine’s Day lunch with Mr TBTAM.
I decided on something tried and true, and a recipe I’ve written about before – rustic shrimp bisque. Not the fastest preparation out there, but I had a book I was listening to, and nothing is more fun than cooking and reading, at the same time. Paired with this winter citrus salad and a baguette, it was the perfect choice for a cold winter evening meal for one. With plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow.
CLEMENTINE, FENNEL AND ARUGULA SALAD
This recipe, which I adapted from Williams-Sonoma, is a nice break from the usual salad, and a great use for winter citrus. I made it as written, but next time I will use garlic instead of shallots in the dressing, and add some red onion, shaved Parmesan and maybe a few black olives to the salad. You could also add some grapefruit. Prepare the fennel and make the dressing ahead, then assemble at the last minute if serving to company.
To make this salad for one, toss a large handful of arugula with the segments of one clementine and a little of the sliced fennel. Toss with 2-3 tbsp of dressing, sprinkle some sea salt and grate some pepper on top and serve.
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 6 clementines, peeled and separated into segments6
- 6 cups arugula, loosely packed.
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, oil, mustard, tarragon and shallot. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulb and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough core parts. Cut the bulb halves crosswise into thin slices.
Place the fennel and arugula in a large serving bowl, add half of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Arrange the orange slices in a pinwheel or other design on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serves 6.