It's that time of year again...March. My least favorite month of the year. My husband likes to joke that I feel that way because it's his birthday month. So, my apologies to all of you March babies! But trust me, it's nothing personal.
It's just that by the time March rolls around I have had it with winter. I am all fed up. I don't want to see any more rain or fog or snow or grey days. I am ready for spring. Unfortunately, spring is never quite ready for me in March. It's still wool sweaters and heavy coats time while I'm dreaming of wispy dresses and high heeled sandals. Grrrr...
Luckily, with a little imagination, I can find a sunshine substitute right in my own refrigerator. It's orange season. Besides your plain old orange orange, the stores here are also full of these fantastic Sicilian red blood oranges, also known as Tarocco oranges. They are sweet and seedless and, besides making fantastic OJ, can be used to make a delicious Sicilian Orange Salad.
This combination of fresh seasonal flavors is fast and easy and can be served as a side dish or a snack.
- 6 large navel or blood oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
On a serving platter, alternately arrange orange and onion slices, with the slices slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Yield: 6 servings.
A tip: soak the sliced red onion half an hour in a bowl of water. This takes a bit of the sharpness out of the onion's flavor. Of course, if you like sharpness forget I mentioned it!
As with all recipes, variations are allowed and even encouraged. Do you like olives? Throw some in.
Want to try it with some sprigs of rosemary? Why not?
A plate of instant sunshine!