serves: 6 servings
In Sicily, citrus fruits (agrumi) are enjoyed as a savory as well as a sweet, usually served between courses or at the end of a meal. A salad-called pirettu-is made from thick-skinned citrons (cedri). The green rind is peeled off, the center pulp is discarded, and the pith is sliced and dressed with salt, pepper, oil, and a pinch of sugar. Here's another citrus salad popular in Sicily, especially in the winter months when oranges are at their best. Customarily it is made with blood oranges-sanguine or tarocche-and that's the way I like it best, though any small, juicy oranges will be delicious. Serve this in the Sicilian style, laying the rounds of orange and rings of red onion artfully on a platter, with the dressing drizzled over, rather than tossing everything together. It is a great as an appetizer, a refreshing end-of-the-meal salad, or as an accompaniment to boiled or grilled meats.
8 small blood oranges, or other oranges
1 medium red onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
½ Coarse sea salt, or Kosher salt, or to taste
Fresh coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped fresh
With a sharp, thin-bladed knife, shave off the peel and pith of each orange completely, exposing the flesh of the fruit. Slice the oranges into rounds about 1/3-inch thick (you'll have about 4 cups of slices in all). Handle them gently so they remain intact.
Peel the onion and slice it into very thin rounds (about 1-1/2 cups in all).
Lay out the orange rounds on a serving platter prettily (I pile up all the broken pieces in the center, making a colorful mound). Separate the onion rings and scatter all over the oranges.
Sprinkle the salt over the top. Grind lots of coarse pepper over the top. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of your best olive oil all over the top. Shower the parsley over all. And serve!