Orange Salad – A Culinary Ray Of Sunshine.


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Back in the early days of our courtship, when Pete and I were first stepping out, he described in loving detail an orange salad that he’d eaten on previous family holidays in Spain. My first thoughts on hearing about this Spanish concoction, was that it sounded utterly revolting. The very idea of putting oranges and hard-boiled eggs together made me want to heave. The more he protested how delicious it was, the more I wanted to gag. This eggy/citrus combo held no appeal whatsoever.

 

All talk of the infamous Ensalada Naranja was banished and it wasn’t until a couple of years later, when we had booked a short birthday break to Spain that once more, it reared its ugly head. Our destination was Valle Lecrin, an orange growing region an hour and a half drive north of Malaga.

 

Heading off the main road, we wound our way round the turquoise lake and through the peaceful orange groves towards Restabal. As we wound down the car windows, the scent of orange blossom filled the car. It was beyond exquisite. THE most delightful and memorable olfactory experience, ever.

 

It was lunchtime when we arrived at Restaurante Los Naranjos. Spring sun burst through the burgeoning vine leaves above the terrace and dappled the tiled floor beneath. We found a table over looking the valley and settled down to look at the menu. Orange salad writ loud and clear. Quite clearly, there was no escape.

 

And so my love affair with Orange salad began. I ate it everyday, twice a day, for five days on the trot. I would have had it for breakfast too if it had been on offer.

 

I want you to trust me on this. I’m going to give you the recipe, and if you feel like giving it a go, I’d love to hear what you think. Chances are, you’ll be as besotted as I am.

 

Here are the ingredients as if I was making this for Pete and I, but of course you can make less or more, depending on your appetite, or how many mouths you are feeding.

 

4 oranges (pre-chilled in fridge)

2 large tomatoes

1 small onion, very finely sliced and chopped

4 hard-boiled eggs

100 grams salt cod (unsoaked) shredded in to small pieces. Here in Spain you can buy packets of salt cod specially for salad that don’t need pre-soaking (It may be advisable to double check whether you should soak it or not if using regular salt cod. The texture is meant to be quite firm so a quick soak is probably all you would need if you can’t get hold of salad salt cod)

A good grind of black pepper

A small tin or jar of roasted red peppers – optional. I like them, Pete doesn’t.

A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil – I use two tablespoons.

Some black olives

 

I don’t add salt because the saltiness of the cod is enough for me.

 

Method

 

Using a very sharp knife, peel oranges and slice in to rounds. I then cut these in half carefully taking out any pips. It’s important to take off all the pith so that you just have the flesh. Arrange these slices in alternate layers with the onions and salt cod. The tomatoes should be sweet and firm. Cut into either chunks or slices, which ever you prefer. Arrange the quartered hard-boiled eggs on the top and the olives and drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper. If I’m organized, and not running late with lunch, I then put the salad back in the fridge for half an hour or so, so that the juice of the oranges can marinate with the salt cod. Any leftovers eat well the next day.

 

From early spring until late autumn our house is filled with visiting family and friends. Inevitably this salad makes an appearance on a weekly basis. I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t enjoy this glorious salad. DISFRUTAR!

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26 Comments

    1. Ahh, the eggs! Weirdly, Marta, I used to hate them too but now I love them. Ditch the eggs and just use the rest of the ingredients. Maybe substitute chickpeas for the egg? That would work for me 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it really doesn’t sound promising BUT you’d be amazed how good it tastes. I’m glad I tried it – it’s now one of my favourites 🙂 well pleased you like the photo, orange salad with my new Indian tablecloth. I thought it was rather fetching 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems that I’m not alone in my first thoughts about this salad! It does sound simply vile – how the hell does an egg and an orange make a happy, culinary Union? I’m telling you and the Spanish who invented this recipe are telling you – Be Brave and TRY IT! I absolutely, 100%, guarantee you’ll love it. Disclaimer – you might not love it in quite the same way as I do but, you’ll certainly enjoy it. Go on! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can’t see a problem with eggs and oranges. They are both round and the yoke the same colour. It’s a given it would taste good. I wonder if I could swap the salt-cod with salt-herring?
    You look a bit tasty as well, Lottie! 😉
    I now have black olives for breakfast instead of a jam sandwich. How are things going with Spain and your art?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you could swap the salt cod for salt herring – I love salt herring! Liking the sound of your breakfast 🙂 do you make a tapenade?
      We are still reeling from the shock of the referendum – hideous politics, disastrous result but aside from that, all is good. The house is taking forever and we are being pursued by a TV camera which all adds to the fun and games! Art is being put on the back burner at the moment as I’ve so much to do but I try to do some drawing every day. I feel ill if I don’t ! As soon as the project is finished I shall be posting lots of photos and maybe even another vlog. I hope one day that you and Helvi can come and stay with us. I know we would have much to discuss and lots of laughs. I’m planning a trip to the optician very soon 😉

      Like

    1. I’m glad that most of it appeals to you! It’s interesting to read what people like or dislike. I was convinced that I’d hate this salad, not even Petes enthusiasm could convince me otherwise. Oh how wrong was I 😬 you are such a charmer, Steve!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m dubious but if you recommend it and Pete likes, I’ll give it a go. Having Portuguese parents I love a bit of bacalhau but will have to double check and ask my mum whether the type we buy can be eaten sans soak-I don’t see why not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete adores this salad and for someone who is quite a tricky person to please when it comes to food, I’d say that’s a result!! Do ask your mum about the salt cod, I’m sure she’ll be able to advise. Make sure that the oranges and hard boiled eggs are really cold – the salad is meant to be very refreshing and cooling 🙂

      Like

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