Winter salad with blood oranges
This fine winter salad gives pride of place to blood oranges, which appear at markets during the winter months. Beautifully speckled with red, they are tangy and marry nicely with the other ingredients — finocchio, red onion, Kalamata olives and spicy watercress.
If blood oranges are not available, regular oranges are fine. And good substitutes for watercress might be arugula, baby spinach, parsley, fresh mint or a combination.
Serve the salad as a starter for a winter’s meal, or as a lunch course, followed by cheese. For best results, season the salad just before serving. Preparation time is about 15 minutes.
1 finocchio bulb
1 small red onion
2 blood oranges
12 Greek olives, preferably Kalamata
1 handful watercress or other tender greens
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pare the finocchio, removing the green shoots to leave only the white bulb. Slice very finely into rounds or, for easier slicing, cut it in half first and slice into half-rounds. Remove any bits of the core. Arrange the slices on a serving platter or individual plates.
Peel the red onion and slice very thinly into rounds. Scatter over the finocchio.
Peel the blood oranges, removing as much of the white membrane as possible without cutting into the orange. Slice into thin rounds. Scatter over the onions.
Scatter the olives over the salad.
Wash the watercress and spin dry. Scatter the leaves over the salad.
In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Add a little salt — not too much, because the olives are already salty — and grind in some black pepper.
Just before serving, drizzle the sauce over the salad.
Different greens may be substituted for the watercress, for example a combination of arugula and fresh mint, at right.