Whenever citrus season comes around, I start dreaming about this salad. Like a lot of Italian food, it only relies on a handful of ingredients and that means the salad shines when the ingredients are in season. When they are out of season, this salad tastes like a shadow of its true form. Traditionally, it’s made with Mandarin oranges, but I find any good, sweet orange will do. Also, a note to my Southern Italian friends. I know this is made everywhere in the south of Italy, but I first discovered this when doing research on Sicilian food; hence the title.
8 Mandarin oranges or 2 large firm sweet oranges
1 small bulb of fennel, sliced
10 to 12 pitted kalamata olives, halved
6 to 10 basil leaves, sliced thin
1/4 of a red onion, diced and smashed
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
Cut the oranges in quarters and peel them, being careful not to squeeze them. Cut them into bite-size pieces. Remove the bottom portion of the fennel by cutting a V around the bottom core. Discard the core. Slice the fennel as thin as you can. Cut the olives in half. Roll the basil leaves together and slice those thin. Dice the red onion. Firmly smash it with the back of your knife two or three times. Toss all the ingredients together.
“The longer this salad sits, the better it gets as the acidity of the oranges pulls flavor out of the other ingredients into one mingled, incredibly delicious salad dressing. An accidental discovery, by the way, but a very happy one.”
Carbohydrates 35 g
Fiber 8 g
Sugar 8 g
Protein 4 g
Sodium 310 mg