Let's strip down to the most basic of the basics. Three ingredients and we have one of the most delicious and healthiest salad. Oranges, extra virgin olive oil and salt. This is one of the first dishes I learned from my in-laws while I was living with them when I arrived in Italy. Italian-English dictionaries pushed aside, no sign languages and no frantic phone calls to my then fiance'
husband in the office for immediate translation. I was offered this salad after a two-course seafood lunch. The ingredients were just shown to me and I understood immediately. Then there was a fourth one that they were unsure of showing me. A solitary onion. They know how their son despises the smell so it was up to me. I could eat it if I am willing to stay mute when my fiance' comes home from work. I risked to stay mute and loved every single bite!
When preparing this salad, I am usually choosy with the oranges. I love using the Sicilian blood oranges. There are 3 kinds of blood oranges, tarocco, moro and sanguinello.
The tarocco have already been out since the end of October and they are the sweetest among the three, seedless and can just have faint tints of red unlike the strong redness of the other two. I use the tarocco for a spremuta or freshly squeezed orange juice to start my day. The other two very red ones are still in the midst of being harvested. Harvest time starts between December to January. Isn't it January already?
In Sicily, they serve this with a variation of black olives, mild onions and fennel. At home, I limit it to the basic three. I serve it with grilled chicken which we all think is a match made in heaven. You can serve it as a side dish to fish and meat to refresh your tastebuds after. You can be creative and add a whole lot of ingredients to it like fennel, kiwi or clementines. Explore, enjoy and most important of all, indulge yourself with vitamin C!
Insalata di Arance (Orange Salad)
- 8 medium to big oranges (I allot 2 medium to big oranges per person or 3 small ones per person)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Peel and cut oranges.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.