“Everything you seeI owe to spaghetti,” said Sophia Loren.
Beata lei. Lucky her. The carbo-load of a heaping plate of pasta asciutta is less helpful to the curves of the rest of us. Every once in a while, especially as the spring arrives and we shed our layers of clothing and begin to think of summer, a salad is called for.
This post really wasn’t supposed to be. We had planned to write about tagliatelle al tartufo, but yesterday evening, Rocky, our new 18-month-old adopted Great Dane, ate all of Stefano’s hand-made tagliatelle as they lay spread out on the kitchen counter waiting to be tossed into a pot of boiling water.
Thus, the salad post. It’s actually a well-timed recipe. Late winter blood oranges are still around and the salad’s bright colors and freshness invokes the spring months that are just around the corner.
Among the culinary treasures of Sicily, blood oranges are known for their sweet flavor and their crimson pulp and juice. Cultivated on the Catania plain and harvested between December and April, the three varieties are the Sanguinello, the Tarocco and the Moro. Blood oranges have been awarded Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) status, awarded to agricultural products unique to the geographical area in which they are produced.
Sicilian Orange Salad
Among the many culinary treasures of Sicily are blood oranges, which have been given Protected Geographical Indication status by the European community. We love this as a late winter salad, its bright colors and freshness invoking spring and the warm weather just around the corner.
- 4 blood oranges
- 1 small red onion
- 20 black olives pitted.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- A few basil leaves
- Peel and slice the oranges, removing any seeds and remaining pith, and arrange them on a serving plate.
- Slice the onion very thinly, ideally using a slicer, and arrange the onion on top of the oranges.
- Pit the olives if needed and arrange them whole on top of the oranges and onion.
- Drizzle with abundant olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with some freshly chopped basil on top for a pop of color.
If you can't find blood oranges, substitute with Naval, Cara Cara or Valencia oranges
Ideally, use Italian or French olives cured in brine or dry salt, without herbs. A Greek Kalamata olive will work, if needed.
As a variation, try any of the following:
- Add sliced finocchio or radishes
- Serve on a bed of mixed greends of arugula.
- Add chopped walnuts
- Add pomegranate seeds and a dollop of mozzarella di bufala
8 thoughts on “Sicilian Orange Salad”
What truly inspiring salad indeed, am in love with the colours and vibrancy! One question, where did you find pomegranates this time of year ? So jeaoulous …
Trader Joe’s has a mountain of pomegranates still. When in comes to non-native fruit during winter months, here in the upper Midwest of the USA we just don’t ask…!
Gorgeous colours! At least the adoptee didn’t eat the truffles!
Yes, we had the very same thought! Now, if we could only train him to FIND truffles!
Maybe you could get Elizabeth Minchilli’s dog to show him how! He’s not been trained, just goes out in Umbria and bring them back….what a dog!
Now, there’s an idea!
What a beautiful salad, and isn’t this just the grandest time of year with some winter citrus still available, but the lovely tender baby veggies are making their appearance too.
That’s one frisky pup you guys have there, Due! At least the canine has good taste! And he is an absolute beauty. Something tell me this will not be the last time he is caught with his paw i n the proverbial cookie jar!
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