My parents visited Sicily last fall (lucky dogs!) and brought back a wonderful recipe to accompany any main dish at dinner. I've riffed on the combination of blood oranges, mint, and red onion and added my own spin. The results? Shockingly good in color and in flavor!
For me the perfect salad is crucial to any supper. The lighter notes can take center stage as the base of the meal or they can play in contrast to something heavier. I'm constantly searching for a slight variation in greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. This blood orange salad takes all of my favorite ingredients and throws them into an unapologetic, vibrant dish that will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility. It's almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
This recipe relies heavily on the quality of all the fresh ingredients, so be sure to have the freshest citrus, pistachios and a small bit of Sheep's feta (or whatever soft cheese you prefer) to punctuate each bite. There's nothing worse than finding your pistachios have gone soft from being in the cupboard too long (this has happened to me!). So be sure to start with the best of the best, and enjoy this salad!
Sicilian–Inspired Blood Orange Salad Serves 4
For the salad: 3 Cara Cara oranges, cut into segments 6 blood oranges, cut into segments 1/4 of a large red onion, cut as thinly as possible 1 bunch of mint, julienned and a few leaves torn 1/4 cup sheep's milk feta
For the dressing: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 1/3 cup pistachios, lightly crushed salt and pepper to taste
Assemble all the citrus segments in a large bowl and mix in onions. Set aside.
In a small skillet, heat the olive oil on medium–high. Add the cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds pop slightly and a lovely fragrance emits from the pan. Add vinegar to the pan and swirl to mix. Season with salt and pepper and toss all over the citrus. Mix in pistachios. When plating, add mint and pistachios to the tops of each portion.