I was extremely skeptical about this recipe, so much so that I decided to just slice a single orange and a few slivers of onion to test this recipe solo at lunch.
Now I'm a Mediterranean girl and I love olives and onions, and oranges are terrific in season but the thought of putting these three ingredients together with olive oil and salt... just seemed odd.
By American sensibility this salad is odd. Let's face it we are not adventurous with salad: lettuce, tomato, croutons with some Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing remains the American way to "do salad."
I went back to the recipe with a partically open mind. Following the directions I soaked some sliced onions in water for 20 minutes as Dorie recommend. I did a before and after taste test. I didn't find much difference in the flavor. The soaked onion was slightly less bitter and slightly more crisp, but not enough to make this step worthwhile.
I decided that a really thin almost invisible layer of onion over the orange was going to make this salad more palatable. So I broke out the finger remover, otherwise know as the mandolin. (Truly I have learned to use it safely.)
I felt the need to use a red onion, one because it is what I think of in Mediterranean salads and two because a yellow onion other than a Vidalia would be really bitter.
I didn't really work to remove all of the white on the orange because the white contains seriously beneficial bioflavonoids... the health benefit of the white peel is my excuse for my laziness toward removing it.
I used jarred pitted Kalamata olives because I rarely see Nicoise olives in stores. I did break out my fleur de sel salt and my extra good quality olive oil that I bought with Betsy when we had our NYC get together this summer.
The result... fabulous. The orange acted like a built in astringent creating a sort of salad dressing with the olive oil. The bitterness of the onions balanced the saltiness of the olives, and the olive oil and fleur de sel smoothed out all of the flavors.
Make this salad for company this winter. It will stimulate conversation, it looks good, and everyone will be impressed by how good it tastes....and it's just so easy to make!
Click here for Orange and Olive Salad recipe
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.