‘Completely bonkers’: oranges, olives, onions and oil are all you need to produce a salad with a distinct Mediterranean flair.
I know that it might sound completely bonkers to pair orange with onion, but, believe me, it is utterly delicious. The dish is Sicilian in origin, where it’s most often made using seasonal blood oranges and thin slices of blushing, pinky-red onions; think Mediterranean sunset, here, perhaps. Do please use the best olive oil you can afford for this surprisingly subtle assembly.
Orange-and-onion salad (serves 4, as a first course)
4 large oranges or, even better, blood oranges
2 small, sweet white onions, peeled
Finest extra-virgin olive oil
A handful of black olives (preferably the tiny, pitted Niçoise ones)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges and, using a small, very sharp knife, further slice off the skins, cutting close to the flesh and removing all traces of pith.
Slice thinly, removing any pips, and then arrange neatly, slightly overlapping, on a beautiful plate.
Thinly slice the onions and lay them on top of the oranges. Spoon enough oil onto the assembly to suit you, sprinkle with olives and then grind some pepper over them.
Eat as is, all on its own. Accompany with bread if you must, but I’m not so sure.