Blood Orange Twirly Citrus Stack (Raw, Vegan)
This post was originally going to be a crispy kale, zucchini noodle, blood orange salad. And dang, did that combination of ingredients taste good. But, the challenge with classic combinations of ingredients is just that – they’re classic and have already been done a million times. Kale and blood oranges go together like peas and carrots, and the inner rebellious vegetable-lover in me just wasn’t in the mood for predictable.
The inspiration for this spiralized salad was the result of a snowball effect of being in love with my new 4-Blade Paderno Spiralizer, playing with my food, and being on a huge blood orange kick. I’ve been having a total heyday spiralizing vegetables into angel hair or vermicelli (which you probably already noticed on the Twirly Bites instagram) with the 4-blade spiralizer. This is truly the best feature of the new spiralizer and is worth the purchase just for the angel hair blade itself. Much like a kid would, I “discovered” my new zucchini noodles, played with them, started toying around with them to get a feel for how they behave, and taste-tested them. Before I knew it, I was rolling them into balls – and balls that actually stick together without binding!
As healthy as they are, raw zucchini noodles do not have me doing jumping jacks and running to the grocery store. They typically require a really good sauce to mask their mild bitter flavor. Someone made a really great point on instagram and mentioned how the cut of a vegetable makes the world of a difference in the flavor of the vegetable; the smaller cut of the angel hair blade makes for a more delicate, spongy flavor. I’ve been spiralizing for some time now, but trying spiralized zucchini angel hair has made me fall in love with zucchini noodles all over again!
I wish I could have you over for dinner, right now. We could share a big ole’ bowl of zucchini noodles together.
To make the zucchini balls, first spiralize 2 medium zucchinis. This should yield approximately 4 cups of spiralized zucchini. Set aside 2 cups of spiralized zucchini for later use as the base of our salad. The other 2 cups will be used for the zucchini balls.
This step is optional, but I recommend roughly separating the long strands of zucchini from the short ones into two separate piles.
First step in creating a zucchini ball is to grab a lime sized pile of zucchini noodles. Scrunch it up in your hand as much as possible in one direction – there is no real technique to this, but if you can get the noodles to lay as much as possible in one direction (either vertically or horizontally), the second step will be much easier.
Second step is to grab a handful of long strands of zucchini and loosely start rolling around your ball of zucchini in the opposite direction from step one. Notice in the photo above that the zucchini is rolled up in two layers and two different directions.
The tighter you wrap the zucchini in step two, fewer rough ends will poke out. As you can see from my photos, I’m a bit of a free spirit and there are a lot of loose ends sticking out. So maybe I couldn’t be a chef in a high end restaurant, but I still think it’s pretty! My theory is that the finished aesthetic of this salad will be a total reflection of your personality.
The spongy texture of the angel hair, its malleability, and wrapping the balls in opposite directions should be enough for these balls to stick together. It might take a couple of tries to get it right, but you’ll get the hang of it. Just wrap tighter, or embrace your half-rolled zucchini ball like I seemingly did.
Once you have 6 balls formed, slice the blood orange as pictured in first photo. Start by trimming the ends of orange. Slice, not peel, the skin off. This will help get the white skin off completely! Slice orange lengthwise into 1/4″ slices and set aside.
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a high speed blender. This dressing is pretty simple but powerful, with garlic, lemon juice, high quality olive oil, and dates as a sweetener. If you don’t have any dates on hand, they can be substituted with brown sugar or honey. Blend until completely creamy. The dates will be the last to puree, if you prefer, you can also leave them a little choppy.
Now we are ready to start assembling the salad! Place 1 cup raw spiralized zucchini noodles on a plate. Layer three tiers of blood orange slice followed by zucchini ball, starting with blood orange slice and ending with zucchini ball. Hold on to the stack with one hand and place a skewer through the center of the stack with the other hand.
Garnish plate with parsley, arugula, or other green of choice, and drizzle salad dressing over the stack. Garnish entire salad with chopped pistachios.
Remove skewer when ready to eat. Serve immediately and enjoy your spiralized blood orange Twirly Citrus Salad!
Fortunately, this salad also looks great deconstructed. Pull out the skewer before eating and let the salad tumble on itself. Beautiful both ways!
I am so excited about exploring more spiralized raw foods – in fact, next week I’m attending a one-day culinary class at Rawcology, a local Toronto company that specializes in raw cuisine! I’m super stoked to learn more about raw food preparation and apply my knowledge towards delivering more spiralizer recipes! The spiralizer and raw food go hand in hand.
Also, stay tuned for a 4-blade Paderno spiral slicer giveaway coming within the next few days! I don’t recommend attempting this spiralizer recipe without the 4-blade spiralizer, so I would love to get one into your hands!
- 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized, angel hair blade
- 2 blood Sicilian blood oranges (or substitute orange)
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, diced
- 2 wooden skewers
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons high quality olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 dates
- 1 teaspoon water
- Spiralize zucchinis and divide in half into two piles. Each pile should be approximately 2 cups spiralized zucchini noodles. Set one pile aside which will be used for the base of the salad.
- Use first pile of zucchini noodles to create zucchini balls. First, take a lime-sized amount of of zucchini noodles in one hand and scrunch up into a ball. Try to keep noodles running in one direction, if possible. This is a great time to use short zucchini noodles.
- Grab another lime-sized pile of zucchini noodles noodles that are ideally long in shape, and wrap around zucchini ball in opposite direction. Some loose ends will stick out, but you can either leave them or trim them later. The objective is to tie in the first ball by creating a protective outer layer of noodles.
- Repeat until you have six zucchini balls, each the size of a golf ball and set aside.
- Slice both ends off blood oranges.
- Slice the skin off in small increments until the entire peel has been removed.
- Slice the orange lengthwise into 1/4" slices.
- Place all ingredients for the salad dressing into a high speed blender. Blend until creamy or desired thickness. Add water to sauce to thin it out if preferred.
- Use the zucchini noodles that were set aside and place 1 cup spiralized zucchini noodles each on 2 plates. This will serve as the base of the salad.
- Starting with blood oranges, create three layers each of blood oranges and zucchini balls, finishing off with zucchini ball, stacking one on top of the other. Each finished stack should have 3 zucchini balls and 3 blood orange slices. Holding the top of stack with one hand, insert skewer through center of stack to hold in place.
- Pour salad dressing over the stack, garnish with pistachios and parsley.
- Serve immediately. Remove skewer to eat.
- Blood oranges can be substituted with other orange.
- Best served immediately.