Would You Eat This?! Orange-Olive Salad
When I was a kid I hated everything. There was even a moment in my early childhood when I refused to eat anything other than apple sauce and so my parents were forced to hide the meat and veggies inside spoonfulls of it when they fed me. During college I branched out and the first direction I went was foreign, I was really picky about things unless you told me it was a delicacy in Spain or Thailand or somewhere. Well, I remember photocopying a page out of an Italian cookbook with this recipe: If people from the suburbs of Chicago loved the sweet, tart, salty combo of orange and olive salad, I would probably never have tasted it in the first place. Luckily this is a Sicilian thing. I really favor the ultra black, wrinkly "olive al forno" olives for this dish, but I guess you can use any black olive. Navel oranges work well too. This recipe is for 1 person, just multiply as your guest list grows
1 seedless orange, peeled
1 tbsp of the finest extra virgin olive oil
8 black olives
squeeze of lemon (optional)
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Slice the orange into thin rounds and arrange on a plate. It's nicest if there are only 1 or 2 layers of orange slices, so you may be looking at a very large serving plate if you have a lot of guests. Scatter the olives evenly over the orange slices, drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper. If your oranges are tart, I suggest no lemon juice at all. If they're sweet, add a squeeze or two. Press down gently on the orange slices with a spoon to get some juices going. Tilt the plate, scoop up some juices and baste the salad a couple times. You will have a juicy and delicious combination.