Culinary Anthropologist

Moroccan citrus salad

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While eating our way around Morocco we learned that most meals end with fruit.  In homes a big bowl would appear – huge red pomegranates, oranges, apples, grapes and bananas.  In restaurants we received plates of beautifully presented orange slices, dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar.  It certainly wasn’t hard to eat our five a day.  This ‘recipe’ is really a serving suggestion; quantities are up to you.  The fresh citrus taste is ideal after a filling Moroccan feast, and the mix of fruits looks really stunning on the plate.


Recipe:  Moroccan citrus salad.pdf

Serves:  as many as you like
Time needed:  30+ minutes

blood orange(s)
pink grapefruit(s)
a ripe pomegranate
orange flower water
icing (powdered) sugar (optional)
cinnamon (optional)

  1. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife to shave thin slices of zest off oranges.  Slice off any white pith that remains on zest.  Julienne zest finely and then blanch for a few minutes in boiling water and drain.  Make a small amount of simple syrup (using 50:50 sugar and water) and then simmer zest in it for around 15 minutes or until sweetened and softened.  Let cool in the syrup.  This step can be done in advance, or you can omit it.
  2. Make one cut into the pomegranate and then pull it apart into rough quarters with your hands.  (If you cut it into quarters you’ll damage more seeds.)  Use your fingers to pop out seeds.  Discard skin and little pieces of white pith.  This step can also be done in advance. 
  3. Peel citrus fruits and slice thinly into rounds, reserving juices.  The best way to do this it to first cut the top and bottom off the fruit, so the flesh is revealed.  Then, keeping it standing upright, cut downwards from top to bottom, closely following the shape of the fruit, to remove the peel and pith.  Once you have gone all the way round there should be no white pith remaining on the fruit.  Then turn it onto its side and cut into thin disks.  Remove pips.  Arrange slices, prettily overlapping each other, on a platter. 
  4. Tip juices from board into a bowl.  Squeeze the pieces of peel over the bowl to catch any juice they may contain.  Add a little orange flower water to juices to taste and sweeten with some of the zest syrup if desired. 
  5. Drizzle juice over citrus slices and scatter with orange zest and pomegranate seeds.  Dust with a little icing sugar and/or cinnamon if you wish and serve immediately.


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