Although all eyes are turning toward strawberries and asparagus at the market, you don’t want to let Pixie tangerines pass you by. They’re the finale to citrus season and while earlier tangerines offered the zing to brighten up a gray winter, Pixies are low-acidity harbingers of spring, and this year they’re so sweet and lovely, the best way to enjoy them is straight.
April is Ojai Pixie month and to celebrate, the folks at Melissa’s Produce were kind enough to send a handful of Pixies my way. After testing out a couple of cocktail variations that really overpowered the gorgeous sweetness of these little guys, I opted for a Forbidden Rice (also called black rice) salad that would spotlight the fruit whole and in the dressing. The Pixies’ sweetness is balanced by a pinch of Melissa’s mild Hatch Chile powder and by a little green heat from minced jalapeño mixed into the salad.
I actually made this two ways, both with and without the arugula (see photo below), so if you want to do this strictly as a rice side dish, you certainly can. The arugula adds flavor and color and stretches the yield a bit, so adjust it to your taste. The rice also tends to soak up the dressing, so it may seem like a lot. If you’re not eating the salad immediately, you’ll probably need the extra dressing to refresh it.
Look for Pixies in your local supermarket or order direct from Melissa’s Produce.
Pixie Power Salad with Forbidden RicePrint Recipe
- 1/2 c. forbidden rice (Lotus Foods preferred)
- 3/4 c. water
- 2-5 pixie tangerines (depending on size)
- 1/2 c. diced fresh pineapple
- 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 T. finely diced red onion
- 1 T. seeded and minced jalapeno
- 2 T. minced cilantro
- 2 handfuls of arugula
- salt & pepper
- Pixie Tangerine Vinaigrette
- 2 T. pixie tangerine juice
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 t. honey
- 1 small clove garlic, smashed
- pinch of Melissa's Produce Hatch Chile powder
- 1/4 c. olive oil
In a medium sauce pan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Water will be mostly absorbed. Spread the rice on a sheet pan to cool.
Slice off the top and bottom of 2-3 of the pixies (depending on size) and slice around the edge to remove the entire rind. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Juice the remaining 2 pixies.
To make salad, in a large bowl, combine rice, pineapple, radishes, red onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over half the vinaigrette and toss the salad until evenly coated. Add the arugula just before serving.
Arrange the salad on a platter and top with sliced pixie tangerines.
This salad gets a punch from both a pixie tangerine vinaigrette and individual slices of fruit. The number you need will depend on the season. This year, the pixies aren't so pixie, so you may only need 2. In other years, they're tinier, so you'll need 4-5.