Sicilian orange salad
ANTIPASTI AND SALADS
Wine match: Inzolia
My father used to have dinner with big and juicy Ribera DOP oranges: he loved to eat them - four or five of them - in a salad.
We have many different types of orange salads in Sicily: my family recipe goes with prikly artichokes (aka "carciofo spinoso di Menfi" Slow Food presidium), and with the preserved anchovies made in Sciacca: no pistachios, that are grown in the Catania area, no fennels because they doesn't balance enough the orange's sweetness.
4 golden oranges Washington Navel
12 marinated anchovies
capers or caper fruits
seasalt, black pepper, extravirgin olive oil
Clean the artichokes first, cutting away their hard stems. Then, using a large knife, cut off the top of the artichokes: this is where the leaves are most tightly bunched. Starting with the outermost leaves, grasp a leaf by the top and pull downward, the leaf should snap right off. Continue until all the hard leaves have been removed.
Once the dark green leaves are removed, the innermost pale leaves will be exposed. This is the part you've worked for, but there is still a little more to do: use a paring knife to remove the hard leaf remnants around the base.
Cut the remaining piece in half lengthwise. Remove the purple leaves and the hairy portion covering the choke and slice the artichoke into very thin slices, then place them in some water with lemon juice to keep them from discolouring.
Peel the oranges to the pulp: no white parts should remain, or they will become bitter. Then, slice them into thick slices and place them nicely in a platter, adding a little sea salt.
Add the artichoke slices after drying them well with a soft cloth.
Slice the leek into very thin slices, and cut the anchovies into pieces, then add them to the platter. You can also add caper fruits and black olives. A generous pour of extravirgin olive oil, shaved parmigiano and black pepper will complete your salad.
The Sicilian orange salad is perfect as a meal starter, or as a side for steamed or grilled white fish and matches perfectly with our white wine Inzolia, to balance the sweet taste of the oranges and the bitterish notes of the artichokes.