Salad of Orach, Arugula, Water Cress, Onion, and Oranges

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

When a selection of assertive greens, equally emphatic orange zest, and strong red onion are combined, they mysteriously mellow and lose their individual identities to become an earthy, brilliantly colored whole. Although deep-dark in flavor, the texture is light and the effect fresh. The weight of the greens is not crucial—it is supplied only to give some idea of the proportions.


  • 2 medium navel oranges
  • 1 teaspoon sharp mustard, such as Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed or walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn or peanut oil
  • 1 small red onion (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 small bunch water cress (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 small bunch arugula (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 bunch small or medium orach (about 6 ounces)
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts (to match the oil)


    1. Scrub 1 orange. Remove zest with swivel peeler. Cut into hair-thin strands (to make about 2 tablespoons). Drop into small saucepan of boiling salted water. Boil 1 minute. Drain, rinse, and spread to dry.
    2. Cut all pith and rind from both oranges. With sharp knife, cut between membranes (do not discard) to remove sections; chill these. Squeeze juice from membranes into small bowl. Add mustard, vinegar, and salt and blend. Add both oils.
    3. Peel onion and halve through “poles.” Lay cut side down and into very thin vertical slices. Toss with dressing and zest; refrigerate.
    4. Trim cress into sprigs. Rinse and spin-dry. Trim roots and stems from arugula. Wash leaves in several changes of water and spin-dry. Pluck orach leaves from stems. Rinse and spin-dry. Stack large leaves (keep small ones whole) and cut into ¼-inch strips. Chill both whole and sliced leaves.
    5. To serve, add onion mixture and nuts to greens and toss. Distribute among serving plates. Decorate with oranges and serve immediately.

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