Take advantage of the blood oranges while they’re available to create this spectacular salad using a variety of different oranges in a rainbow of gorgeous colors. Here I’ve paired dark colored blood oranges with red-fleshed, sweet cara cara navel oranges and bright orange-fleshed Florida navel oranges, resulting in a not only a beautiful but a very flavorful and refreshing salad.
If you can’t find blood oranges, this French Orange Salad shown below using all navel oranges is just as pretty and tasty. Long time readers may remember this Salad d’Oranges et Olives Noires navel orange salad with the slivers of red onions and kalamata olives here. I’ve taken that particular salad to parties and it’s always a big hit. People are a bit surprised when they first see it, but one taste convinces them that it is a delightful and refreshing combination that plays off of each other’s flavors beautifully.
|French Orange Salad with Red Onions & Kalamata Olives - recipe here|
This hastily made, colorful salad is adapted from one of Pierre Franey’s 60-Minute Gourmet series cookbooks many years ago. At our house, we call this “Pierre’s salad.” Pierre Franey was a French chef who ran the kitchen at Le Pavillon restaurant in New York City for years. Pierre went on to write newspaper columns for the New York Times, penned some of my favorite cookbooks and also worked alongside his dear friend Craig Claiborne. It was Craig and Pierre along with Julia Child that taught my generation how to cook.
Citrus salads are a great substitute for tomato salads when tomatoes are tasteless and not in season. They are very refreshing as well as quite versatile. Thinly sliced radishes take the place of the feta cheese for a nice peppery crunch in the blood orange salad shown below. I’ve also substituted peppery flavored radishes for the red onions with great success in the French orange salad shown above with the kalamata olives.
The possibilities of different combinations of this salad are endless. Try a pink grapefruit in place of the red-fleshed cara cara oranges to add a sharper note to the salad. Garnish with slivered red onions and black olive slices as I did originally. I’ve even seen toasted coconut with chopped pistachios. Use any kind of nuts you like or no nuts at all. My friend Bonnie of From a Writers Kitchen composed a gorgeous still life salad with blood oranges, strawberries and kiwis here. How about grilled asparagus with blood oranges slices? Or use an orange salad as a dessert as I did here that is very palate refreshing after a heavy meal such as a French Beef Daube. Take a look at my Pinterest Salad Board here and you’ll see a great range of different flavor combinations and garnishes for blood oranges.
Blood Orange Salad
Adapted from Salad d’Oranges et Olives Noires in 60 Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey– serves 4 or 5
2 each blood oranges, cara cara, and Florida navel oranges
Trim off the ends of the oranges with a sharp knife. With the same knife remove the peel, then cut the oranges into thin slices and arrange in an attractive manner on a platter. Drizzle with the vinaigrette below and garnish with the pistachios, feta cheese, and mint leaves.
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A couple of pinches of sea salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
To make the vinaigrette, place the paprika, vinegar and oil, salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.
Fresh mint leaves
Garnish the oranges with pistachios, finely crumbled feta cheese and mint leaves. The salad is best served within 30 minutes, or if you wish to hold it longer, add the mint leaves at the last minute to prevent them from wilting. Salad is easily doubled.