NYC restaurants are on a saffron kick these days, all aswirl with excitement over Cristo's miles of billowing fabric. I went today, and indeed... in the right beam of sunlight I could see saffron.
It's not that I don't love saffron. Truth is, I'm just mad about saffron. (heh...) But what I saw was tangerine. Miles and miles of tangerine. Flattened Clementines strung up in sheets. My eyes thus attuned to the color, I saw it everywhere for the rest of the afternoon. Tangerine scarves, tangerine subway seats, tangerine balloons and sweaters and traffic cones.
The sun shone, the wind subsided, and all of New York stuffed into a few miles' space to gawk at The Gates.
So, in honor of The Gates and the tangerine, which both have a fleeting season that will soon end, I offer up a tangerine salad reminiscent of thousands of orange sheets against thousands of bare trees.
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp coarse-ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
3 large tangerines segmented with peel and pith removed (or five small tangerines, peeled and segmented)
2 bunches frisee, stemmed, cut down, washed and dried
1. Cover the onion slices with ice water and let soak 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by whisking the vinegar with the mustard, pepper, salt and sugar.
2. Pour in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until all the oil is incorporated.
3. Drain the onion slices, pat dry with paper towels and separate into rings.
4. Mix the tangerines, onions and the frisee lightly. Drizzle in vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.