Light Up Mom’s Day & Cook for Her Too!

Light Up Mom’s Day & Cook for Her Too!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and as a professional chef - and a mom, too - I love it when someone gifts me a day off work, or in this case, a day out of the kitchen. Oftentimes on Mother’s Day, my “gift” is my family cooks for me. Maybe this is a tradition in your home, too, or maybe this year my recipe for Little Gem Salad paired with the Reminisce candle from Ancient Olive Trees will be the start of a new Mother’s Day tradition in your family.

I was inspired to create this recipe by the aroma of Reminisce, and its super fragrant notes of citrus, mandarin zest, pink grapefruit and lemon verbena. This being citrus season, I decided to make a recipe to pair that highlights Cara Cara oranges. First discovered in Venezuela, the Cara Cara looks similar to navel oranges, but it has a beautiful pinkish-red-and-orange flesh.  The flavor is pumped up with charisma; it's sweeter, has a lower acidity and a way more interesting flavor than the navel orange. 

My tip for making this salad spectacular is to find really good quality ingredients. The oranges, combined with French feta, avocado, fresh Little Gem lettuce and the other ingredients really shine with a bright vinaigrette made with the orange juices and Ancient Olive Trees Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

If you want to give a really special gift to Mom this year, cook her a meal and give her the Taste Scentsation bundle, which includes the Reminisce candle with our Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

Little Gem Salad

Cara Cara Orange, French Feta, California Avocado, Shaved Red Onion, Roasted Beets, with Cara Cara Vinaigrette

Serves 4


2 Cara Cara Oranges, cut off rind, slice oranges into rounds, or supremes

1/2 Cup Diced Feta

1 Avocado, Sliced and Diced

1/4 Red Onion, Shaved

2 Beets, Roasted and Peeled (recipe follows)

Ancient Olive Trees Balsamic Vinegar

2 Little Gem Lettuce Heads, Chopped


1/4 Cup (4 Tbsp) of Cara Cara Juice (The juice of one orange)

1/8 Cup (2 Tbsp) Ancient Olive Tree Olive Oil

Pinch of Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper (5 grinds from your pepper mill)

Roasted Beets:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse beets, cut off green tops. Place beets in a roasting pan, add 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon Ancient Olive Trees Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, place in oven for about 1 hour, depending on the size of the beets. Poke with a fork to check for doneness and remove from the oven when tender. Let the beets cool, then remove the outer skin using a paper towel. Cut beets into quarters, then slice quarters into small pieces. I went with a triangular shape. Drizzle the beets with the balsamic vinegar, a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. The balsamic is just sweet enough with bright balanced acidity, it plays nicely with the beets. They are both on the sweeter side and in the culinary world, it’s usually a home run flavor-wise, especially beside feta.


Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

Prepare the Salad:

Wash and chop your little gems, place that first in your large salad bowl, then place cara cara rounds on top of lettuce in the bowl, add sliced avocado, the feta cheese, the shaved red onion and lastly, the beets. Drizzle vinaigrette on top, add a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.


Add shaved radish or chopped cashews


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