Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sicilian Citrus Sensation!

Insalata di Radicchio, Mandarino & Erba Cipollina
Mandarin Orange, Radicchio & Chive Salad

Orange salad, in its many variations, is one of the most typical, popular and beloved Sicilian dishes. Nothing sums up the instinct, the simplicity and the originality of the Sicilian cuisine than the sublime combination of orange and olive oil, paired with the tang of raw onion. But  of course I have a few ideas of my own based on that same theme- like this one here, which I am sure you will also enjoy!

Many people, myself included, tend to avoid raw onion if possible, because tasty as it may be, it does tend to have an uncomfortable aftertaste and to leave your breath a little bit less than desirable... so I decided to make a milder version. I substituted regular or blood oranges, which would be the norm, for Mandarin oranges, which are in season now and the onion for chives, which give a more subtle yet similar flavor... the combination works very well indeed! And together, in contrast with some chopped radicchio, they make for a wonderful and refreshing salad! So let's get chopping!

The preparation is very simple- as you can plainly see from the photos- the radicchio finely chopped, the mandarin orange in horizontal slices and the generous scattering of chives just speaks for itself. The flavors do too- all we need to do is enhance them a little and that means some good olive oil, salt, coarsely ground black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Sometimes there is nothing more to say and nothing more to do... other than to simply enjoy! And I hope that you do! Buon apetito!

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