Moroccan Style Spicy Orange Salad — Two Versions

Orange salads are a fixture of the Mediterranean table and Moroccan orange salad is one of the best salads in the world — sweet citrus juices countered with pungent onion and dueling kicks of spices and acidity.

Eat it with bread and cheese and call it lunch, or serve the salad as a cooling antidote to a spicy fish, lamb or chicken dish. Variations: Substitute red onion for the garlic. Add mint. Use other citrus, such as tangerines, mandarins or blood oranges. Sprinkle in a little orange-flower water.

Paula Wolfert seasons orange slices with the spice mixture ras el hanout, orange-flower water, lime and lemon zest, dates and mint. Wolfert devotes an entire section to orange salads in her book “Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco,” one with radishes and cinnamon, another with grated carrots and orange-flower water and one with olives and paprika. She wrote, “Olives and oranges are one of those miracle combinations, like lamb and garlic, before which I sometimes feel I should bow in gratitude.”

1980: Spicy Orange Salad, Moroccan Style
This recipe appeared in an article in The Times by Craig Claiborne.

3 large seedless oranges
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika (or use Ras El Hanout — available from Kalustayan’s — instead of paprika & cayennne)
1/2 teaspoon garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine or sherry vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup chopped parsley
12 pitted black olives, preferably imported Greek or Italian.

1. Peel the oranges, paring away all the exterior white pulp. Cut each orange into 8 wedges. Cut each wedge into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Place the cayenne, paprika, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine. Add the oranges, parsley and olives. Toss gently to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Recipe: 2010: Mom’s Florida Avocado and Orange Salad
By Andrew Carmellini, the chef and an owner of Locanda Verde in Manhattan.

2 Valencia or navel oranges
1 Florida avocado or 2 regular avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 scant tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Handful cilantro leaves.

1. Segment the oranges by slicing off the ends with a sharp knife. Put the orange on one end and, with a small, sharp knife, cut off the peel and white pith. Segment the orange by slicing between the membranes. Remove the segments and drop into a bowl. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining membranes into the bowl with the segments. Reserve the juice.
2. With a dinner knife (not the sharpest knife in your kitchen), cut each halved avocado half lengthwise into segments, cutting through the meat to (not into) the skin. Then cut around the outside of the avocado meat and, using the knife, push the pieces out of the skin and into the bowl with the oranges.
3. Add the lime juice, red onion, oregano, olive oil, salt, hot sauce and the reserved orange juice. Using a large spoon, mix all the ingredients together so that everything is coated and well combined.
4. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and drizzle with more olive oil. Serves 4 as an appetizer or antipasto.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/magazine/11food-t-000.html

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