My next recipe from Sicilian Cookery is a refreshing orange salad that is simple and so easy to make a child monkey could do it.
All you need is 2 oranges, preferably, 1 blood orange and 1 other type, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
To fancy it up you can also add red onion, garlic, parsley, and olives. I fancied mine up and it was well worth it.
As I said, there’s not much to this recipe. The cookbook doesn’t even give you measurements really. This makes me laugh, because from what I gathered of the stories my mother told me, that’s an extremely Italian thing to do. Eyeballing measurements is their thing.
My Italian great-grandmother taught my Irish-American grandmother how to cook by this eyeball method. My mother and grandmother taught me how to cook some of their recipes in the same manner. I still remember when my mother taught me how to cook something for the first time. It was Tortellini Soup. She took my palm out, poured a bit of garlic powder on it and beamed as she told me about how her grandmother taught her how to cook this soup. Since I was a precocious child, I was like, “Mom! Shouldn’t you being using measuring tools?”
My mother was always amused by me, so she didn’t take offense. She just laughed at me and explained that cooking isn’t always a perfect science and that my great-grandmother’s generation knew that and for them their hands, ladles, and spoons were their measuring cups.
Thankfully I thought that was pretty cool. Still do actually. In fact when I make that soup, my measuring requirements are palm of garlic powder, one soup ladle of white wine, half a cup of empty chicken broth can of water, the chicken broth, and two bay leafs.
So when you make this salad, you will cut the oranges into cubes, dice the garlic, and slice the onions. You will use one garlic clove by the way. For the onions, just eyeball it into a fairly even ratio with your orange cubes. Add these to olives that are also a fairly even ratio. Sprinkle some olive oil on it, however much seems appropriate to you. Then add a palm’s worth of parsley and pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix all of these ingredients together until everything is properly dressed.
The final result is a refreshing Mediterranean salad. I admittedly thought oranges and olive oil would be disgusting together but there’s something about the oil that calms and compliments the acidity of the orange.
On a side note, olive oil is the most miraculous cooking tool. I swear it’s good on everything and makes every gross vegetable actually appetizing. The only other thing that tops it is cheese.
We are talking about this orange salad today, though. So my final note, is that if you enjoy oranges and olives, this is the refreshing side dish for you. So as an Italian would say, “Just go on and eat it already! Whatta ya waitin for?!”