Saturday, March 31, 2012

Savory Character

Think of an orange. The bright, pebbly skin. The sweet, juicy insides. Oranges pair well with foods like chocolate, toast and vodka. But, how about with mozzarella? Or tomato? Olive oil and capers? Garlic and red onion? Absolutely.

Do not be fooled by its breakfast and sweet persona. Oranges play well with more savory items also. In Sicily, from where a portion of my ancestors hail, oranges are used in salads with lettuce and shaved fennel. Since that salad is delicious, we decided to change it a bit.

My mom has the best food ideas. There are many times where we sit around and talk about different recipes. This recipe is one of them.

Take a Caperese Salad. All it is is sliced fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Now let’s look at our more Sicilian version:

Sure we have slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. But we also have sliced red onion, black and green olives, sliced garlic, and slices of supremed cara cara oranges.

The cheese, tomato, onion and orange were shingled in the dish. Then, we sprinkled the top with slivers of garlic, olives, chopped red pepper, thinly sliced celery, a few capers, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper. The whole thing got a generous drizzle of olive oil before covering with plastic wrap and setting aside.

After about an hour sitting at room temperature, we served it with genoa salami, pepperoni, and ham.

Of course we ate it with some bread. How else would you soak up the olive oil and orange juice mixture?

The salad was phenomenal. The cheese soaks up all the surrounding flavors. Olives and capers give it a sharpness while the orange balances the oil well. Getting a firey piece of slivered garlic mashed into a soft milky hunk of cheese plays music in your mouth.

What is leftover will marinate even more in the fridge. Tomorrow, it will taste even better. This salad would be great as an antipasto or cut into chunks and brought to a summer party.

Keep drinking orange juice at breakfast. But once you bring oranges out after noon, savory will be supreme.


  1. That sounds wonderful! not many things in this world better than good food and drink I don't think.

  2. Thanks. I would add good company to that.

  3. Absolutely! What is good food or drink without good company to go with it?