Not quite a year ago, at a dinner in Savannah, Georgia with some of my favorite people, we were served a salad with dried oranges infused with cinnamon. They were tart and crisp with just an after note of spice, a welcome surprise on the salad. Sadly I can’t remember the name of the restaurant or even what else was in the salad. I do remember that I vowed then and there that I would be getting a food dehydrator, so that I could make those oranges.
A few months later, a friend gifted me a secondhand dehydrator, but, still, I did not make the oranges.
This week, however, they popped back into my head, and I had some super sweet cara cara oranges on hand. I sliced them thin (about an eighth of an inch), and sprinkled them lightly with cinnamon. I spread them out on the dehydrator trays and let them dry for about a day. The time needed depends on your dehydrator, but they should be completely brittle (mine could have used a few more hours, actually, but I was anxious). I snapped off the peel and bitter pith (you could also peel before drying) before tasting them—they didn’t quite meet my Savannah memory, but that tart-sweet crunch was there. I used the oranges in my own salad, adding them to avocado and arugula. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, I think fresh oranges would be good in the salad as well.
Arugula Salad with Dried Oranges, Avocado and Pine Nuts
Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Plate the arugula (as many servings as needed). Top each serving with a few slices of avocado, a few pieces of dried orange, and a handful of pine nuts. Dress lightly with a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper.