Oranges, blue cheese, and red onion are a winning combination. In other terms I would say something astringent, something sour, and something spicy go well together. Add in the sweetness of the dressing, the savory walnuts, and the fresh, bitter greens and you have a simple salad with a complex taste. Adding in the salt and brine of a good black olive also works well.
Winter salad with tangerine, blue cheese, red onion, and toasted walnuts
One head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and broken into sizable pieces
2 oz mild, creamy blue cheese
1/2 red onion, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup raw walnut halves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Saute the ghee over medium-low heat. Once hot, add in the walnuts and the spices. Saute for 5 minutes until toasty. Remove from heat and cool on a piece of parchment paper.
Peel the tangerines. With a paring knife, scrape off the pith. Cut each piece into third and make sure to remove the seeds. Crumble the blue cheese. Put the lettuce, cooled walnuts, onion, tangerine, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
Whisk together the ingredients. Taste. Adjust.