Some friends invited us over for some smoked lamb tacos and asked us to bring a side. I immediately thought of burnt orange which has been an obsession of mine for months. For chinese new year we paired it with pomegranate pork belly buns, I included it in a fig charoset recipe requested by my sister and was throwing it in salads and cocktails left and right. Tacos generally want a slaw I think, so cabbage seemed logical and I made some crunchy spiced chickpeas to complement the seasoning on the lamb. The final touch was adding little fried cotija crumbles to add just a hint of briny salt. It was perfect with the lamb and the leftovers were great as well. I would suggest reserving some chickpeas for any leftovers as they will get soft over time. —savorthis
Heat oven to 350°. Dry chickpeas with paper towels as best as you can. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and 1/2 t salt. Roast in the oven 30-45 minutes or until crisp, stirring a couple times.
Turn oven to broil. Thinly slice oranges saving about an inch from each side to juice. Place oranges in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and broil until beginning to char in spots (pay attention!). Let cool and cut into quarters.
Meanwhile, cut cabbage in quarters, cut out core and slice very thinly on a mandolin or with a knife. Put cabbage in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and salt heavily. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes, massaging a couple times. Rinse very well and spin or pat dry with a towel.
Squeeze orange ends and mix 4T juice with the vinegar, dijon and 4 T olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss cabbage with dressing.
Sprinkle 1/4 of cotija into a small skillet over medium heat pressing down a bit when it starts to melt. When the bottom is brown, flip it over to brown the other side. Repeat with the rest of the cheese then cut into small squares.
Toss cabbage with oranges, green onions and cheese and add chickpeas right before serving.