Culinary Anthropologist

Sicilian orange and onion salad

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This bright salad is perfect on a steaming hot day, to kick off or punctuate an otherwise heavy meal, or to accompany roast or grilled meat.  The dressing needs no vinegar due to the acidity of the oranges and onions, but do make sure you use excellent olive oil. 

smSicilianorangesalad0001.JPGYou could omit the onion, olives and mint if you wish, and/or add in some sliced celery or shaved fennel.  And you could garnish with fennel fronds if you have them, or even toast and grind some fennel seeds to sprinkle over.  Fennel and orange are perfect partners, and fennel is typical of Sicily, where it grows wild along country roadsides. 

In Sicily you will even find this salad made with lemons instead of oranges.  And blood oranges make a particularly stunning platter.

Recipe:  Sicilian orange and onion salad.pdf

Serves:  8

8 oranges, or 10 blood oranges
a small red onion (optional)
a small fennel bulb (optional)
approx ½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
approx 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
a handful of mint leaves, or some fennel fronds
a handful of black olives, stones removed  (optional)

  1. Use a sharp knife to pare the rind and all the pith off the oranges.  Slice them into thin rounds and remove any seeds.  Arrange the slices on a platter.
  2. Slice the onion and/or fennel as finely as you can, and scatter over the oranges.
  3. Season and drizzle generously with olive oil.  Garnish with olives and julienned mint leaves or fennel fronds as desired. 
  4. Let sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.

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