Sliced oranges, olives and onions make an enticing summer salad.
This is a beautiful salad, and a cool summer addition to your 4th of July barbecue or any summer meal. You could use other types of black olives, but Kalamatas are particularly delicious with the oranges. Note in the recipe, directions on making your peeled oranges look this perfect. This salad may be served as a separate course or with the main course, on separate plates. It is excellent with pork, barbecued lamb or grilled shrimp or lobster.
Moroccan Orange Salad
4 thick-skinned, juicy oranges (seedless navel oranges preferred)
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fruity olive oil
Scant 1 teaspoon dried crushed hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
Handful of chopped cilantro leaves
Blanch the oranges before peeling to make the job easier: Drop in boiling water to cover (off the fire) and let stand 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the skin. Then cut the peel into lengthwise "petal" shaped sections, cutting through the peel but not the flesh. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip under the petal-cut section at the top and pull the peel downward. All the white pith (which is bitter) will come along with the peel. (If not, they need to stand longer in the boiling water.)
Cut the oranges crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Remove any white pith in the center of the slices and seeds, if any. Arrange the slices of orange in overlapping concentric circles on a round, shallow serving platter. Cover with the chopped or thinly sliced onion.
Add a final layer of sliced, pitted black olives. Sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and drizzle the olive oil over the whole dish.
Cover and set in the refrigerator. May be prepared hours before serving, but remember to let stand at room temperature for a half hour before serving. Sprinkle top with cilantro right before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
From Pat Mozersky/Sparky Boxall
Photograph by Bonnie Walker