Everyone is talking about spring now, me too, but before we totally forget the passed season I wanted to share one of my favourite (end of) winter recipies: Sicilian Orange Salad.
A large part of my familiy used to live in Sicily before most of them moved north for studies or a better employment. But the memories of extraordinary holidays on this island literally between Italy and Africa are still very present in my mind and sometimes I celebrate them with special dishes.
For this unusual salad you should try to find blood oranges, either Moro or Tarocco, that are harvested in february. Unfortunately spanish Navel have taken over almost the whole market here in Germany and I have always trouble to snatch a few. Blood oranges are less sweet than Navels and their slightly bitter note matches best for this recipe, but you can use other oranges as well.
The basic ingredients are: 2-3 oranges, 1-2 cloves of garlic (yes!), olive oil "extra vergine", a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. My favorite variation which I used for the picture adds some thin slices of fennel and "Balsamico" vinegar from Modena, a sweet-sour vinegar riped in oak barrels.
But possibilities are endless! Try with some black "Kalamata" olives for a hearty dish, or add a sweet scent with a sour apple and walnuts. If you prefer a more traditional fruit salad for a dessert add sugar, orange blossom water and arabic mint (nana).