Sunday, March 6, 2011

Instant Sunshine

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!


Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for new recipes...really like the sound of this one and will try it next week. Thanks for sharing!

Francesca said...

I feel exactly the same about March. And it's soo long! We've had your "instant sunshine" dish in Ragusa once, we'd never heard of oranges as a savory dish before (they served it with peperoncino piccante, no basil), and we loved it! Ciao!

Emma said...

Look delicious! Here is Zurich spring often takes ages to arrive.

The Blonde Duck said...

How pretty!

Val said...

March is the essence of evil. Funny you posted about the fruit as I was happy to find blood oranges yesterday at Whole Foods. Of course this morning I'm eating it thinking, "Huh. Blood oranges from California. Not even CLOSE to blood oranges from Sicily, but they'll have to do for a couple more weeks." They really are like sunshine in a bowl.

LindyLouMac said...

My least favourite month has just finished thank goodness. with the arrival of March I feel there is a hint of Spring! The oranges are really good at the moment I agree.

Unknown said...

I know what you mean about March, and blood oranges! Never a day without them around here, and love your salads, a family fav! Mu favorite combination is oranges, green onions and black olives.

Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

I, too, understand what you mean about March. Spring really isn't quite happening YET. Seems like it takes forever for the trees to get green. That usually doesn't happen until May. What a lovely month, May. MY birthday is in May. :)

Belle de Couture said...

Very interesting dish!