Lazy Sunshine Salad
I told you I had gotten the bug… The second installment of my love for "Verrines" is inspired by this cool little book and my never dying love for blood oranges. When I see them in the store around December-January I tend to buy several bags at a time, that and kumquats…I currently have 8 pounds of the gorgeous beauties sitting on my counter and ideas flying through my mind every minute.
We had company for dinner the other night and flipping through the pages of the book I noticed a recipe for an apple crumble in a "verrine". Just the sight of those juicy cooked apples topped with a cinnamon crumble was enough to make my stomach growl. But I was in the middle of juicing blood oranges, not slicing apples. I did not have the desire to crank the oven on either as it was still pretty warm outside. I started this dessert by thinking "well, I’ll just make a fruit salad and layer it with Greek yogurt and crushed ginger cookies"…but I was lusting after that picture, those nice juicy fruits….and then the Kitchen Fairy kissed me on the forehead and I started whisking some blood orange curd, caramelizing some kumquats…and oops….there you have it.
Layered Fruit Salad, Greek Yogurt, Blood Orange Curd and Caramelized Kumquats, aka Lazy Sunshine Salad :
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1 banana, peeled and diced
1 blood orange, peeled and diced
zest of 1/2 a lime + juice
1 Tb honey
Blood Orange Sauce:
¼ cup sugar
1 T grated blood orange zest
2 large eggs
2/3 cup blood orange juice
Combine sugar, orange zest, orange juice and eggs in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Let cool to room temperature.
For the cookies: I had a stash of these in the freezer especially to be used crumbled on top of mousses or other creamy desserts, so it was perfect timing, but here is the recipe again:
Double Ginger Cookies, adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger (I use 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients (flours through ground ginger); stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine 1 cup sugar, applesauce, and next 4 ingredients (applesauce through vanilla). Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist; cover and chill dough at least 1 hour. I skip this step and add 1 Tb of water to the dough.
Preheat oven to 350°.Lightly coat hands with flour. Shape dough into 24 balls (about 2 tablespoons each; dough will be sticky). Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on pan. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire racks.Note: These freeze well. Place cooled cookies in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; store in freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.
I usually get more cookies, 30 – 32.
Wash and cut in half a pint of kumquats (except the ones I popped in my mouth while cooking)and put them in a heavy saucepan with 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and all the kumquats are nicely coated with the syrup.
Last step: have fun layering everything in the order you want with some Greek yogurt or fromage blanc or any of your avorite creamy concoctions and top with a layer or blood orange sauce and a few caramelized kumquats.