Orange, Red Onion and Olive Salad

(Ensalada Valenciana)

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 2 navel oranges
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half, then into ¼-inch slivers
  • 1 cup pitted Calamata, oil-cured, or Sicilian olives

Remove any wilted or yellow leaves from the head of Romaine. Separate the head into leaves. Trim the thick center ribs from the romaine leaves, and tear the rest of the leaf up into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry the lettuce, preferably in a salad spinner. You can clean the lettuce up to a couple of hours before you serve it; refrigerate it in the serving bowl, with a damp towel to cover.

Top and tail the oranges. Cut the skin and white pith off, removing as much of the pith as you can without cutting into the orange. Remove the orange sections from between the membranes with a paring knife. Work over a medium bowl to catch any juice from the oranges and let the orange segments drop into the bowl. Set the orange segments aside in a small bowl.

Whisk the collected orange juice, white wine vinegar, honey, and thyme together in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream until blended. Check for salt and pepper and add either or both if you think the dressing needs it.

Toss the lettuce, onion and olives together with the dressing in a serving bowl. Scatter the orange segments over the salad and serve.

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