We went to Reno last Weekend to visit some good friends. It was Valentine’s weekend so I knew we would be making a nice dinner for the guys. I wanted to make this salad but I was hoping to use Blood Oranges with their beautiful deep red color. But after visiting the grocery store, I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. So when I spotted the Cara Cara oranges next to the “other” navel oranges, I wasn’t too disappointed. You see, Cara Cara oranges is what the original recipe called.
This is just like a Caprese Salad except it uses orange slices instead of tomatoes in the salad, and orange juice in the vinaigrette. It’s quick and simple to put together, and delicious with it’s fresh and bold flavors.
The original recipe made stacks with 3 orange slices, 3 fresh mozzarella medallions, and 3 basil leaves with the vinaigrette poured over the top. It made a beautiful presentation but this salad was serving four people and I wanted it more family style. I also served it on a bed of spinach. If you can’t find the Cara Cara oranges, your normal navel oranges will work just as well.
Here’s a little information on the Cara Cara Orange straight from the Sunkiss website.
Cara Cara Oranges
Cara Cara oranges, a type of navel grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, are available January through April. Their outward appearance is similar to other navels, but their interior is a distinctive pinkish red and has an exceptionally sweet flavor with a tangy cranberry-like zing. Cara Caras are a rich source of Vitamins A and C, fiber and Lycopene. A perfect snack served as wedges, they’re also a colorful addition to beverages or squeezed into a vinaigrette salad dressing.
I’m linking this Orange and Mozzarella Salad up to The Side Dish Showdown hosted by Reeni over at Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice. Check out all the other great recipes and lets give side dishes the respect they deserve!
Recipe adapted from Sunkist
- 4 Cara Cara oranges
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 12 1/4 inch slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- fresh ground black pepper
Peel oranges and slice out three 1/4 inch horizontal slices from the center of each orange. Lightly sear the slices in a hot pan or on a grill.
Place spinach on a platter. Arrange in circular pattern starting with an orange slice. then a mozzarella slice and a finally a basil leaf. Repeat until all the slices are arranged. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and to taste.
To make Vinaigrette
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- salt and pepper
Combine orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk together.