04 June 2011
An Easy Moroccan Salad
Moroccans like to make salads with oranges (think orange and artichoke salad, blood orange salad) and olive and orange salad is the most classic of them all. We may think of oranges as almost to delicate and juicy for salad, but when properly supremed or simply cut along the bias, they can be quite substantial. At its simplest this is just a salad of oranges and olives, but I like to add some slivers of red onion and perhaps a bit of diced cilantro for uumph. A nice pinch of salt is important to keep the salad on the savory side.
I used Moroccan baladi olives, which I found at a local shop. They are wrinkly and mildly flavored and taste as if they have been marinated in spices, perhaps cumin or allspice (I don't know if that's true, please chime in if you do). But any mild olive will do. The salad is light and refreshing and perfect alongside a heavier dish, like bistaeeya. It can also be used as a topping for grilled fish.
Orange and Olive Salad
3 large oranges (something with thick substantial segements)
6-8 black olives, preferably Moroccan baladi style
2 tablespoons diced cilantro
about 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced as thinly as possible and then diced
1. Working over a bowl to collect juice, supreme the oranges, placing the segments in another bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the orange juice, then whisk in the olive oil and the red onion to make a dressing. You should use twice as much oil as you have orange juice, you can eyeball it if you don't want to measure.
2. Gently mix the diced cilantro in with the orange segments. Tear the olives into pieces with your fingers, it can be rustic looking. Arrange salad on a platter. Spoon the dressing over the salad, you will not need all the dressing. Serve salad immediately, reserve remaining dressing for another day.