Published February 18, 2014 - Last Updated September 8, 2021
This salad is the perfect way to brighten up the cold, dull days of winter, particularly this year when a good portion of the country has been covered in a deep blanket of snow. The bright, warm colors come from a mixture of Cara Cara and blood oranges, which happen to be in season right now. While you can use any kind of orange for this salad, Cara Caras and blood oranges add a pretty and unexpected burst of color. Cara Caras were first cultivated at Hacienda Cara Cara, hence the name, in Venezuela in 1976. They are a cross-breed between Washington navel oranges and Brazilian Bahia navel oranges. Their rosy colored flesh, similar to a grapefruit, is a result of the antioxidant lycopene. Some studies have shown that diets rich in lycopene may lower the risk of cancer. The ruby flesh found in blood oranges comes from anthocyanin, another powerful antioxidant. Interestingly, the deep red color only appears if the fruit is exposed to cold weather during growth or after harvest. Both varieties are sweet, delicious and a great source of fiber and vitamin C.
The dressing on this salad is slightly sweet, with a nice crunch from the addition of poppy seeds and fresh pomegranate seeds. Poppy seeds have a somewhat notorious reputation, due in part to the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine tests false positive for opium use. She later learns that it is a result of eating her favorite poppy seed muffins. The ancient Greeks used the opium found in unripe poppy seeds for medicinal purposes. While opium is made from poppies, the poppy seeds found in baked goods and salad dressings are not dangerous. These seeds have reached full maturity and do not contain any narcotic properties. Even so, you might not want to eat this salad just before a drug test in order to avoid a false positive reading.
For my Jewish readers– Purim is not too far away, and poppy seeds are traditionally eaten during the holiday. Consider adding this delicious this seasonal salad to your holiday menu!
To learn how to easily seed a pomegranate, click here.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...