Saturday 17 July 2010

Like Clockwork Orange

(Oranges are not the only fruit. - but for now they are. Apologies to Jeanette Winterson)

My friend Hannetjie de Clercq, a wonderful artist and fabulous foodie, once made me her version of a Sicilian Orange Salad for my birthday. The contrasting tastes are surprising. On paper they shouldn't work, but in the mouth they certainly do.
I think that traditionally the Sicilians would use Blood Oranges, and some recipes suggest using fennel and onions with it. But this is Hannetjie's recipe, it's the way she taught me to make it and I'm sticking to it. It's the perfect winter salad - guaranteed to fight of all germs with the lashings of vitamin C and the cure-all presence of garlic. I think it could work well with a pork roast. Or otherwise eat it just so on unexpectedly sunny days.

Once again no exact measurements...for a Sicilian Orange Salad for about 4 people.
About 6 oranges (carefully peeled to remove any pith, and if you're so inclined, you can remove the pips as well) cut up into small chunks (don't be lazy and use segments, I think it's best that the juice runs out and mingles)
A glug of good olive oil.
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
Some fresh origanum ( if you can find it, otherwise use some of the dried stuff)

I know it sounds weird. I was hesitant at first as well. But the flavours sort of dance in your mouth. A bit like a tango, which is vaguely unsettling, and then settles into an exotic, hypnotic rhythm, which stays with you long after you've gone home. (Some would argue that this is due to the strong smell of the garlic. Pay no attention to them. I don't.)


  1. OK, so once I messed around in a Sicilian dream for a while, and we made this too. We used lots of mint and black pepper. I'm going to try your origanum version though.

  2. Heather, I like the sound of the mint and black pepper. I take it there was no garlic? Yours perhaps more appropriate for amorous encounters...