Sunday, January 4, 2009
A few posts back, I mentioned the superbly wonderful new cookbook I received from my friend for Christmas-- The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters.
This being citrus season, I decided to try "Orange and Olive Salad."
What was this going to taste like, I wondered. Well you can't go wrong with oranges in winter, so it had that going for it.
As it turns out, this is an excellent salad! We absolutely loved it. Even my 6 year old daughter ate it all up, onions and olives included. If you're going for seasonal, or just plain delicious, you have to try this!
3-4 oranges (Navel or Blood oranges work well--or a combination would be even better!)
1 small red onion
small black briny olives, nicoise if you have them (4-5 per person)
2 TB orange juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
2 TB olive oil
Remove the peel and pith of the orange with a knife. Slice out the orange sections, removing the membrane between the slices. Arrange into pinwheels on a large platter.
Peel the onion. Slice it in half lengthwise through the root. With each half lying flat on the cutting board, thinly slice across the onion. Scatter or arrange these slices over the oranges. (If the onions are too strong in flavor, soak them in ice water for 5-10 minutes first)
Mix the orange juice with the vinegar and the salt/pepper. Whisk in the oil. Adjust the vinegar or salt if necessary. Pour the dressing over the oranges and onions. Scatter the olives on top.
On a side note...I learned a thing or two about olives while reading "Salt and Pepper" (Michele Anna Jordan, 1999). Traditionally, the bitterness in olives is leached out using a slow immersion in salt. It can take weeks or months, hence the more expensive price. What we know as canned olives (you know, the ones you can top your fingers with) are a product usually from California that are cured using lye. It only takes about 24 hours to cure an olive in lye, but it removes everything flavorful from the olive. Salt is then used to add some flavor back into the olive. As you can probably see, I used the latter olives in this photograph. But, I'm excited to test out some other olives (kalamatas are one of my favorites).