This colorful and refreshing orange salad was one of the biggest hits at our Spanish themed dinner. Made by my sweet friend Ann she was initially hesitant about the combination of onion and oranges. She needn't have worried - nearly all the dinner guests asked for the recipe!
Oranges have been cultivated since time immemorial. Native to China and southeast Asia, oranges were brought to Europe through ancient trade routes via Persia and have been grown there since at least the time of the ancient Romans. Seville oranges have been cultivated in Spain (in the city which gave that variety its name) since the 12th century and were brought to Florida by the Spanish in the 15th century. Another common Spanish orange variety is the Valencia orange which was brought to the US in the 19th century. Today oranges are a common fruit the world over. In the US citrus fruits are often considered to be a sweet treat over the winter at which time we tend to eat a lot of Navel oranges, which are in peak production from January-March, making this salad an excellent addition to your winter menus.
Orange and Red Onion Salad - serves 4
adapted from Spain Recipes
4 ripe oranges
1 extra small red onion
4 T golden raisins
4 T slivered almonds
20 black or Kalamata olives, pitted
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
fresh mint for garnish ~ optional
Cover the raisins with hot water to rehydrate. Set aside.
Cut off rind and pith of oranges. Slice into 1/4" rounds. Reserve any accumulated juice in a small mixing bowl and arrange the slices on a serving platter. Finely slice the red onion and scatter over the oranges.
Whisk together the reserved orange juice, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Spoon over oranges and onions. Drain the raisins well and sprinkle raisins and almonds over oranges. Garnish with mint. Chill until ready to serve.
The menu from our Spanish dinner included the following:
Spanish meat and cheese tray with marinated olives and caramelized walnuts
Lamb stuffed dates with a picante roasted red pepper sauce
Brussel sprout and fennel salad with brown butter-parmesan dressing
Chorizo stuffed mushrooms
Brie en croute stuffed with bacon and walnuts
Bleu cheese crusted pork loin stuffed with prunes and onions
Orange and red onion salad with olives
Fresh baby spinach dressed with a sherry and orange olive oil vinaigrette
Sweet potato muffins with dried cranberries
Guava and cream cheese bombs
Sangria. Lots and lots of sangria