I have made this salad with various citruses – blood orange, mandarin, tangelo and grapefruit. But above all, it is a refreshing dish on its own. It’s great to add fresh pistachio nuts. This orange salad originated in Moroccan cooking and is best with ras el hanout (meaning ‘top of the shop’). But I have also served it with a simple sprinkling of cinnamon, which works well too.
- 12 oranges
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- a few drops of orange flower water, to taste (optional)
- 3 small candied clementines, cut into thin segments, or 3 tablespoons candied citrus fruits, cut into small dice
- 6 dates, stoned and cut into matchsticks (coated in sugar, optional)
- 6 mint leaves, thinly sliced
- 12 pistachio nuts, dry or fresh, shelled and thinly sliced
- ground cinnamon or ras el hanout (see following recipe), for sprinkling
Cut all skin away from oranges to reveal flesh. With a sharp knife, remove segments, making sure there is not any membrane attached to them. Place in a bowl and squeeze leftover pulp in your hand to extract juice over segments. Add zest and orange flower water, if using.
Place orange segments and some juice on serving plates. Arrange clementines or candied citrus fruit, dates, mint and pistachio nuts over them and sprinkle with cinnamon or ras el hanout.
Ras el Hanout
- 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods (3 teaspoons ground cardamom)
- 1 large cinnamon stick (3 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
- 1 small nutmeg (1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg)
- 1 teaspoon cloves (3/4 teaspoons ground cloves)
- 2 teaspoons white peppercorns (3 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper)
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns (3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper)
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Remove seeds from cardamom pods; discard pods. Crumble cinnamon stick. Chop nutmeg into small pieces. Combine all spices and grind. Pass through a fine sieve and re-grind anything that hasn’t passed through sieve. Store any leftover ras el hanout in an airtight container. Spices keep for a long time but they are lovely and fresh for only about a week.