Orange and Olive Salad

January 27th, 2010 § 7 comments

At least once every winter, I cook a lamb tagine with prunes from Claudia Roden’s œuvre (which is actually a revision of an earlier œuvre) The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, and serve it with this salad.

I’m going to get around to the tagine in the next several days, but in the meantime here’s the salad.

As far as salads go, this is as close to pantry cooking as you can get. You probably already have the spices, garlic, and olives on hand. Heck, you may also have the oranges. You can use whatever variety you like, or a mix. Blood oranges add beautiful color.

La Roden calls for argan oil, a Moroccan specialty, but it can be hard to find. She lists hazelnut, walnut, and sesame oil as acceptable substitutions. If you don’t have any nut oils at all, rest assured that olive oil will taste just fine.

The salad is a refreshing accompaniment to spicy stews, tagines, or roasts. You’ll need to serve it in bowls because it’s quite juicy.


Orange and Olive Salad

Adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden (Knopf)

4-6 oranges

about 1 t lemon juice

2 T oil (almond, walnut, hazelnut, sesame or olive)

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped


1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t paprika

12-15 oil cured black olives

With a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off of each orange so that it has a flat base to sit on.  Working your way around the orange, cut off the peel and pith, going top to bottom with your knife. Using the membrane that divide the fruit as as your guide, carefully cut out clean sections. Alternately, cut the fruit crosswise into round slices.

Put the orange slices in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss gently.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and lemon if necessary, and then serve at once.

Serves 4

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§ 7 Responses to Orange and Olive Salad"

  • I am all over this – I joined you as fellow prune lover in your last post and actually thought those were prunes in the photo, instead of olives ! Thanks for the recipe, this sounds great. I have several of Claudia Roden’s books – Arabesque is my favorite. They’re all great. Hope to see the tagine — and homemade pita – here on the blog soon !

    Meanwhile, I brought back a ton of argan oil from Morocco years ago, and have been wanting to return ever since – perhaps just to get more!

  • Cowgirl Chef says:

    I have been thinking about — and looking for — interesting savory recipes that feature oranges….and whatever. This looks amazing. I’m gonna try with Kalamatas, since I usually always have those on hand. PS I love prunes, too.

  • bernardzirnheld says:

    For savory orange recipes, orange and jicama with lots of red onion is a favorite with me.

  • Barbra says:

    Kerrin: Someone has told me that I can find argan oil at La Grande Epicerie. I’m very curious, though the result with the huile d’amande was so good that I feel no rush.

    Cowgirl: I seem to always have kalamatas, too. How does that happen?

    Bernie: Everything you said, and a big squeeze of lime!

  • Shelli says:

    Having just gotten back from Morocco I’ll pass on the tagine as I’m tagined-out, but the salad looks great! I brought back some argan soap but no oil. Having tasted it though, I think it’s easily replaceable by the ones you suggest.

    The argan trees grow in the southwest of Morocco and many of the processors are women’s cooperatives. It’s tedious work and the prices are justified. You can often see goats climbing into the branches of the trees, which don’t grow very high, and I’ve been told that the nuts are processed through their digestive tracks before being used. Yes, that’s a polite way of saying what you think I said.

  • Camila Perry says:

    whenever my sister makes potato salad, i always eat them in less than a minute or so he he. i just love all sorts of salad. .-`

  • […] In Paris it might be served with boiled raisins and chickpeas. I like to serve it with a refreshing orange and olive salad, which also comes from the Roden […]

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