Winter Salad

For weeks, it was too cold for me to be easily lured outside, but today was beautiful. I decided to run some quick errands, including a stop at the grocery store to pick up some fresh produce.

The grocery store had an unexpected variety of fruits and vegetables, most of which I avoided because they had countries of origin such as Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru. No thanks! I don’t live in Mexico or anywhere near it and certainly not south of it. It’s way too far to go for a piece of fruit.

I did buy some blood oranges (grown in the USA, of course). I opened one up as soon as I got home. It was one of those tricky ones. It looked like a normal orange outside, not even a hint of red on its skin, but inside it was juicy and red enough to fool a vampire.

Blood oranges are an important component of Tumor Salad, which is what I had for lunch. Tumor Salad is made with greens (arugula is best, but baby spinach will do), blood orange, blue cheese, and dressing (citrus preferred). The original recipe was more specific about the ingredients, but living in a place where arugula is almost impossible to find, you learn to be flexible. Citrus dressing was popular once upon a time, then it disappeared from grocery-store shelves. Too bad. I’m usually too lazy to make it myself, so I use a mild Italian dressing.

My mother, who found this “gourmet salad” recipe, hates that I call it Tumor Salad, but I’m just following a long family tradition of naming food inappropriately. I grew up on dinners of Train Wreck, after all, and it wasn’t until adulthood that I learned other people call it Swiss steak. The inspiration for the name “Tumor Salad” was the appearance of the blood oranges, but I like to think that the salad also wards off real tumors. At least it’s probably better for you than the roast known as Apocalypse Cow!

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