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mandarin oranges

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

I’m writing today from my new office which has the loveliest view of rolling hills and a menagerie of deep green trees. I think this is going to be the perfect spot for loads of creativity and mouth-watering recipes. I’m still in the midst of unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything so this post is short and sweet; and of course, delicious.

This Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad is vibrant in color, not to mention quite sassy in flavor. 

This salad is filled with spicy watercress and radishes mixed with sweet mandarin sections drizzled with a zesty lime vinaigrette creates a flavorful, beautiful and refreshing salad.  If watercress isn’t to be found, this is just as delicious over shredded cabbage. I like to garnish with fresh cilantro but you can certainly use fresh mint or basil.

I’ve got several new recipes to post soon so stay tuned!

Loads of Love,


Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 4-6

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette


  • 8 oz red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz canned mandarin orange wedges, or 2 cups fresh mandarin orange wedges
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime juiced, about 2-3 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ - 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  • Whisk together the lime juice, mustard and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, adding additional oil to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Next, layer the watercress on a platter, then layer the oranges and then top with the radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette and serve immediately.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Home By Design Magazine in 2016.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts

    Mixed Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Candied Nuts and Parsley Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

    Every new year I choose a “word” for the year.  It’s a word to reflect on and possibly keep me on track or aspire to.

    Last year I chose two words. I couldn’t decide.  My husband would tell you the word “Decisive” should have been thrown into the collection.  (I’d like to believe “indecisive” just means that I think creatively.  My husband loved that explanation.)

    However, I felt in some way, both words I chose reflected my thankfulness for friends and family and reminded me how much I value the people in my life.  Connect and Listen.  That last one is a toughie.  And I bet you’re asking yourself “how’d that workout for you Karista?”  Let’s just say I felt fairly successful at staying connected.   “Listen” is a forever word.  For me, a word that will be a continuous work in progress.  I hope to master it someday.  Not just listening to others, but listening to myself.  Sometimes we know best, we just don’t listen.


    Mixed Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Candied Nuts and Parsley Vinaigrette// Karista's Kitchen

    This year I chose the word “Nourish”.  It’s the very foundation of this blog. It’s why I made the decision to go to culinary school 15 years ago; it’s why I decided to change career paths; it’s why I decided I wanted to teach home chefs the secrets to cooking well at home. It’s why I decided to share with you my most loved recipes. Recipes that are creative, sometimes playful, achievable and always delicious. Recipes that bring me joy – putting a smile on my face and on my taste buds.

    Nourish is also the word that reminds me to support and encourage, to cherish and strengthen – Not only my family and friends but myself as well.

    The new year is about nourishing my mind with new ideas, creativity, new books to read and new techniques to master.

    The new year is about nourishing my body with whole foods, supporting local agriculture and yes, more exercise with more time spent outdoors.

    The new year is also about nourishing my soul – with more quiet time, more time with friends and family, more time spent listening.  Ah… we’re back to that word again.

    In this busy world of ours it’s so easy to forget to nourish ourselves.  Despite what our busy minds tell us, it’s not a selfish act; it’s an act of love for those around us. If we’re nourished and feeling happy and healthy, we’re better able to care for those we cherish.

    I realize it’s easy to say that now while I’m sitting here at my computer – first day back from a refreshing winter break.  I know it will be much harder to achieve when the work deadlines are looming and the family is pacing in front of my office door because they’re hungry and in need of dinner.  But I vow to nourish myself so that I can support and cherish others.  Including you!

    This is going to be one DELICIOUS year.  I’m excited about all the new recipes, classic recipes revised and revisited, recipes to make your dinner hour easier and recipes that will nourish, enlighten and delight!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    This is a refreshing salad with the most delicious combination of flavors.  Don’t let the simplicity fool you! For a quick meal, I pair this salad with grilled or pan seared shrimp, scallops, salmon or chicken.

    A dear friend made this salad for me years ago.  She’s no longer with us in person, but she will always be with me in spirit.  Thanks C!

    Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts

    Serving Size: 2-3

    Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts


    • 4-5 cups of your favorite washed greens. I like a mix of seasonal greens.
    • 1/3 cup assorted chopped nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, whatever you like)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • one sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil
    • 1 cup mandarin orange slices, or more to taste
    • 1/4 cup sliced scallions/green onions (I like about 1/3 cup. I love green onions and they are excellent for gut health)
      For the vinaigrette
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place the greens in a bowl. Reserve.
  • If you don't have wax paper, grease aluminum foil or parchment paper with oil. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the sugar to the skillet. Just when the sugar begins to turn into liquid, add the nuts and quickly stir. Take the pan off the heat and pour the candied nuts in a single layer onto the greased foil or parchment or the wax paper. Let them cool and then break into small pieces.
  • Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and Italian parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the greens with the vinaigrette and then transfer to a salad bowl or platter, or individual plates. Top the greens with the sliced scallions/green onions, mandarin oranges and garnish with candied nuts. Serve immediately.
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    Halibut Karista's Kitchen Seafood

    Halibut Montalcino

    halibut with fennel, orange and green olives

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    It’s officially halibut season here in the Pacific Northwest.  One of my favorite spring milestones – when the halibut is fresh and sweet and beautifully abundant at the fish markets.   The texture is firm but flaky and moist when cooked; and the meat is sweet and mild.

    Last year I developed this lovely little recipe for DaVinci Wine after my glorious visit to Tuscany.  It pairs perfectly with the DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

    This is a fish dish that can be prepared quickly for a weeknight meal.  Just have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go and the dish will be done in less than 30 minutes.

    It’s also a dish that is easily adjusted to preference.  Maybe you prefer more fennel and less olives? Or maybe you prefer more orange zest and an added squeeze of orange juice.  However you prepare this dish, it will be fresh and flavorful and delight the palate.

    Halibut Montalcino

    Serves 2 (can be easily doubled)


    ¾ -1lb Halibut (thinner filet’s if you can find them as they are easier to pan sear), or your favorite firm white fish, cut into two pieces or 4 smaller pieces for ease of cooking.

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

    1 tablespoon clarified butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil

    1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

    1 orange, zested

    1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

    Handful of sliced green olives

    2 tablespoons of mixed chopped Italian parsley and fresh thyme

    ¼ cup dry white wine (I used the DaVinci Pinot Grigio)


    Season the halibut filet’s with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

    Heat a large non-stick or fish friendly skillet over medium high heat and add the butter and oil, combining the two as the butter melts.

    When the butter/oil is hot but not smoking, add the halibut filets flesh side down.  Let the filets cook in the pan for about 5 minutes or until the flesh side down has formed a nice golden brown crust and comes off the pan easily.

    Flip the fish to skin side down and finish cooking, turning the heat down to medium if needed.  Fish typically cooks 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.  This is true for most medium to thick fleshed fish such as halibut, salmon, swordfish, etc.

    When the fish is done, transfer to a platter and keep warm.

    Over medium to medium high heat, add the unsalted butter to the fish pan and let it melt.  Add the sliced fennel bulb and allow it to caramelize a bit, turning golden brown.  Just before the fennel is done, add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.

    Stir in the ¼ cup of white wine and chopped fresh herbs.  Let the wine reduce by half and then add the orange zest and green olives.

    Hold the skillet over the heat just until the mixture is warmed through, season the mixture with additional salt and pepper to taste and add one more pat of butter.  Let the butter melt and then divide the fennel mixture onto two plates.

    Top the fennel mixture with a piece of halibut and garnish with additional chopped Italian parsley and orange zest.

    Serve with a side of fresh pasta tossed in olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic and parmesan and a glass of DaVinci Pinot Grigio.


    Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Shrimp

    Asian Style Rhubarb and Ginger Sauce with Mandarin Oranges… Perfect for Scallops, Shrimp or Pork

    Asian Rhubarb and Ginger Sauce with Mandarin Oranges

    Vivaldi is playing softly in the background and songbirds are humming a tune outside my window.

    A tranquil moment in time.

    A moment I relish with deep pleasure.

    Another picture of the Scallops... I couldn't decide which to post!

    And then the front door slams.

    Tank, the mean and ferocious terrier, barks and howls as two voices chatter loudly all the way into the kitchen.

    Which is right next to my office.  Which happens to be the dining room we never use.

    It has the best view of the mountains.  So I joyfully turned it into my office, hoping the beautiful view and songbirds would inspire.

    And they do.  Most of the time.

    Until the Bennett Crew arrives home and Vivaldi is replaced by Jason Mraz, and songbirds are replaced by the ever escalating giggling conversations of the two sassy Bennett gals.  Ahhh… the tranquility.

    I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.

    Asian Style Rhubarb and Ginger Sauce

    Serve this sauce with pan seared scallops, grilled shrimp, roasted pork loin or pan seared or grilled pork chops.  I also love it served with mandarin oranges and lots of sliced scallions (green onions).

    Serves 3-4


    2 – 3 stalks fresh rhubarb (try to find the thinner stalks, about 1- 1 1/2 inches in width)

    1/4 cup brown sugar

    2 tablespoons Tamari (I used low sodium)

    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

    1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or more to taste)

    1 clove garlic, minced

    1/2 teaspoon roasted red chili paste (I like Thai Kitchen), or a dash of Sriracha or a pinch of cayenne

    1/2 – 1 cup mandarin oranges

    1/4 cup or good handful sliced scallions (green onions)


    Trim the ends of the rhubarb and then thinly slice the rhubarb stalks and place into a small pot.  Add the brown sugar, Tamari, vinegar, grated ginger, garlic and red chili paste and stir over medium high heat.

    Bring the mixture to a lively simmer and stir.  Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer until the rhubarb has softened and broken down, about 8-10 minutes.

    Give it a good stir and let it cool for a few minutes.  Place the sauce in a blender or food processor and puree.  Adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to thin the sauce.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, chili, ginger or cayenne as needed.  This is definitely one of those sauces prepared to taste.

    Serve the sauce with mandarin oranges and sliced scallions (green onions).  Serve with pan seared or grilled scallops, shrimp, or pork.  Great as a grill sauce!


    Pan Seared Scallops over Fresh Fennel and Mandarin Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

    When I titled this recipe, I could swear I heard my sister say “this sounds way too complicated!”  Ok, well, it is a long title but truly, it’s fresh, simple and delicious. (My mantra these days!)

    Ranger Craig and I love scallops, especially pan seared scallops.  I could eat them right out of the skillet. (Actually, I do that)

    Scallops have a natural sugar content that, when pan seared, forms a yummy golden brown crust around a velvety smooth center.  To make it easier to test for doneness I like to slice my scallops in half horizontally.  You won’t find this practiced in a professional kitchen, but hey, when I’m cooking at home, I like to make dinner a little simpler.

    Although I prepared pan seared scallops for this recipe, I also love to serve this salad with halibut cheeks, halibut filets, true cod and Dover sole, as well as grilled fresh salmon when it’s in season.  The flavors of fennel and orange are highly complimentary and combining these two fresh flavors with fish, is 4th of July for the taste buds!

    Add a little “something extra” to the Fennel and Orange salad with toasted walnuts and my favorite Valbreso French sheep’s milk feta.  You can find this creamy sheep’s milk cheese at most grocery stores, but here in the Northwest, you’ll find it at PCC Natural Markets, QFC and Whole Foods.

    Delightful, delicious and looks like sunshine on a plate. 🙂


    Serves 2-3

    10-12 large dry packed fresh scallops (ask your fishmonger for “dry packed” scallops.  If packed in water or liquid solution, they will be soggy and resist forming that beautiful crust when pan seared)

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    2 tablespoons coconut, safflower, sunflower or peanut oil

    1 large fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced (save a few fronds to use as garnish)

    1 – 1 1/2 cups mandarin oranges, about 4 mandarins peeled and separated

    2 cups arugula, baby spinach or spring greens (I like a mixture of all three)

    1/3 cup good quality olive oil

    3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

    3 tablespoons honey

    Salt and pepper to taste


    Remove the “foot” or little muscle from each scallop.  It’s a little piece of the scallop that is a bit more opaque than the rest of the scallop.  Simply pull it off and discard.  Slice each scallop in half horizontally.  Season with salt and pepper.

    In a heavy bottom skillet, heat the butter and oil on medium high heat.  When the butter and oil are hot and frothy, almost smoking, add the scallops.  You may need to do this in two batches.  Don’t over crowd the pan or the scallops will steam rather than pan sear.

    Let the scallops cook for a minute or two.  When a golden brown crust forms on the bottom of the scallop turn it over to cook the other side and cook for another minute or two.  Once the scallops look nicely toasted in color, transfer to a platter and keep warm.

    Whisk together the oil, lemon juice and honey.  Toss the fennel, greens and oranges in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

    Drizzle all but a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the greens and toss.  Taste salad for salt and pepper.

    Plate the salad on a platter or individual plates and top with pan seared scallops.  Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the scallops and enjoy!

    Options:  To serve this salad without the scallops, top with sheep’s milk feta cheese and toasted walnuts or pecans.  Or try serving with toasted pine nuts and your favorite Bleu cheese.

    Halibut Sassy Side dishes Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Italian Parsley Vinaigrette with Mandarin Oranges over Halibut and Mixed Greens

    I love a simply prepared halibut.  Just a nice pan seared filet with a little something drizzled over the top.  Add some fresh spring greens tossed in my fave Italian parsley vinaigrette and my lovely fish meal just became beautifully delicious.  

    The robust flavor of the Italian parsley compliments the sweetness of the delicate mandarin oranges.   And as a bite of this halibut with fresh dressed greens and plump sweet mandarins, all sitting prettily on my fork makes its way to my mouth… I’m thinking, this is a mouthful that makes me smile (and makes me want to lick my plate).

    Serves 4

    The salad with vinaigrette makes a lovely side dish for any fish meal. 


    1 ¼ lb Halibut Cheeks

    Flour for dusting

    Salt and Pepper

    Olive Oil

    1 tablespoon butter

    1 cup Mandarin oranges

    Fresh Spring Greens


    ½ cup olive oil

    ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

    2 tablespoons honey

    2 tablespoons cider vinegar

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Whisk all ingredients together.  Will hold in the frig for several days.


    Salt and pepper halibut cheeks and then lightly dust in flour, shaking off excess. 

    Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon or two olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.  When the oil/butter is nice and hot, but not smoking, add the halibut to the pan.  Let the halibut sear for about 3 minutes on each side, or until a nice golden crust has formed. 

    Transfer halibut to a platter. 

    To serve:  Plate the halibut, drizzle a little vinaigrette over the halibut and then sprinkle with mandarin oranges.  For a beautiful plate: Toss the greens in the vinaigrette and then put a nice mound of greens on a plate.  Top with the halibut and Mandarins, then drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Delicious and Beautiful!

    For a Salad: Dress fresh spring greens with the vinaigrette, add fresh chopped green onions, mandarins and candied chopped pecans.  A complimentary side to most any meal!  Or add diced chicken to the salad for a delicous brunch or lunch.

    Grilling Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Pan Seared Dover Sole over Fresh Greens with a Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

    I went to my local (and favorite) fish market yesterday, Gemini Fish Market in Issaquah, WA, and found a large selection of beautiful white fish.  But the Dover Sole caught my eye ; it was the most beautiful shade of glistening white with just a hint of pink.   It arrived the day before and was beckoning me to make a purchase.  So out the door I went with 1 1/2 pounds Dover Sole and of course a few scallops to sear as an appetizer. 

    Dover Sole is a delicate white flaky fish that has a mild and sweet flavor.  It’s a smaller fish with smaller fillets that are excellent for a quick pan sear or baking in the oven.  Dover Sole is a fantastic basic fish that can be paired with a variety of sauces.  How about a simple brown butter, lemon and caper sauce, or a simple white wine and lemon sauce that can be found in my pan seared halibut over wilted spinach blog.  However you prepare Dover Sole, it’ll be delicious as well as healthy. 

    This Spicy Orange Vinaigrette is fabulous over any white fish, whether it’s fresh grilled halibut, true cod, rockfish, snapper, or Dover sole.  If you don’t like fish, try this vinaigrette over pan seared chicken cutlets or grilled chicken breasts.  A sweet yet spicy vinaigrette that will satisfy your gourmet taste buds, but isn’t difficult to prepare.

    I love to serve my pan seared fish over a salad of mixed greens that have been tossed in the vinaigrette.  Place a few pieces of fish on top of the greens and drizzle with a little additional vinaigrette.  Delicious!  

    Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!


    1/4 C orange juice concentrate

    2 tablespoons white vinegar

    ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1 tablespoon honey

    ½ C olive oil

    ½ bunch fresh mint leaves

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    1 1/2 – 2 lbs Dover Sole, Halibut or any mild white fish

    OPTION:  Or serve over grilled or pan seared chicken breasts 

    In a blender or food processor, add the orange juice, vinegar, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, honey, and mint leaves.  Pulse a few times to combine then while the blender or processor is on slowly add the olive oil until completely blended, salt and pepper to taste.  Optional:  for a little more citrus flavor add a bit of orange zest to the vinaigrette.  If you feel the vinaigrette is too thick, just thin it out with a few tablespoons of water until you’ve reached the desired consistency.  Feel free to adjust seasoning, adding more or less mint, or more or less chipotle powder. 

    Toss spring greens with some of the vinaigrette and place greens in the middle of a plate.  Top with pan seared or grilled fish and drizzle the fish with additional vinaigrette.  Serve with Wild Rice or grilled/roasted sweet potatoes and plantains.