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Meatless Monday: Quick, Elegant Citrus Salad

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Start your holiday dinner (or take a break from heavier meals) with an elegant salad that comes together in under 20 minutes. Saute olives and thinly sliced orange peel in rosemary-infused oil for just about 10 seconds or so yes, seconds. Combine the mix with orange slices, ricotta salata and spinach. For the vinaigrette, whisk fresh orange juice with olive oil. That’s it: a stress-free holiday course perfect for your Christmas feast (or recuperation from it).

Sliced Orange Salad with Sauteed Olives and Ricotta Salata
6 medium navel oranges
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved
12 cups lightly packed baby spinach or arugula leaves
Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces ricotta salata

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
2 medium navel oranges, juiced
Twice the amount of olive oil as orange juice
Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from 2 oranges in strips. Cut the strips lengthwise as thinly as possible until you have 2 tablespoons of thin slices. Reserve the thin slices and discard the remaining zest. Using a sharp knife, remove the entire rind from the 6 oranges and cut them lengthwise in half. Cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch slices to form half-moons. Remove the seeds.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over high heat. Add the rosemary to the skillet, cook for a few seconds, and then add the olives. Cook for 10 seconds or until the olives begin to absorb the rosemary-infused oil. Stir in the reserved 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced orange zest. Cook for a few seconds, then remove the skillet from the heat and allow the mixture to cool in the skillet.

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