Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Orange and Red Onion Salad with Olives

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
Chorizo Paella
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



  1. Oh, your whole menu sounds fabulous! I can see why the salad was a hit...what a marvelous mix of flavors and textures~

  2. Oh I do like your orange and red onion salad with the kalamata olives, I will make this. Great appetizer.

  3. What a great menu! Please put me on the guest list for the next one. Your salad looks quite easy and very delicious. I can see why it was a hit!

  4. Sounds so healthy and with the red onions won't last all week as a reminder! Love the tasty combinations.

  5. I want to go to a Spanish themed dinner! Your salad does have some wonderful ingredients-lucky recipients.

  6. Wow, that sounds like a true feast! We spent a lot of time in Spain when I was a child, and I love the food. There's a Spanish tapas place that opened nearby, I really must go and check it out.
    Wonderful recipe!

  7. Yum! Who doesn't like a pungent, flavorful salad? This would preempt many delicious entrees or stand beautifully on its own for lunch. Brava!

  8. I'm gonna love this salad when I make it! Thanks. MsEllaneous

  9. The menu sounds delicious! When I lived in Sicily - a blood orange and red onion salad was a staple....and it's SO good!

  10. This salad sounds divine! Adding it to my collection!

  11. I love themed dinners! This salad sound wonderful! One of my favorite salads has red onions and mandarin oranges.

  12. I love the play between orange, red onion, and olives - a great combination!

  13. I bet this is lovely! Sweet oranges and salty olives. I bet it's really refreshing. This is my first visit to your blog, really like it and am following.

  14. This whole dinner sounds fantastic! I saw a salad similar to this on some show or another on Food Network but yours sounds even better than the on there. Now to go check out that Sangria! :-D

  15. Lots of great flavors in this intriguing salad. I particularly like the abundance of natural sweet flavors. Very exciting salad recipe!


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