Last week I met of friend for lunch at Claudine. To start, I had a citrus carpaccio salad that was new to the menu. The salad was based on oranges, which are in season now, and included blood oranges, which I really enjoy. This is my take on Claudine’s citrus carpaccio salad.
This salad is a star on any plate and a refreshing beginning to a meal. It’s a composition of assorted orange slices, shaved fennel, red onion and mint dressed with lemon and a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
A couple of years ago, I read the book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller. Mueller’s book celebrates truly exceptional olive oils and also exposes widespread corruption and fraud in the trade of large commercial oils.
Before reading Mueller’s book, I would by any oil in an Italian looking bottle on the grocery shelf as long as it was labeled extra virgin. Now I buy almost exclusively, California extra virgin olive oils in two grades. One labeled for “everyday meals” I use for cooking. The other is pressed from Arbequina fruit. I use the Arbequina oil for salads as described in this recipe and as a condiment on soups, etc.
This recipe makes two servings
- 1 orange
- 1 blood orange
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- ½ red onion
- 2-3 sprigs of mint
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons high quality olive oil
- Coarsely ground sea salt
- Coarsely ground black peppercorns
- Slice the orange and blood orange as thin as possible. Trim the rind from the orange slices and set aside.
- Trim the stalks from the fennel bulb and cut in ½. Shave thin slices of the fennel bulb and set aside. A mandoline is the ideal slicing tool for this step.
- Slice the red onion and then cut the ring segments into one-inch length. Set aside.
- Coarsely chop the leaves of 2 to 3 mint sprigs
- To serve, arrange orange slices on two plates then top each with shaved fennel, onion and mint. Squeeze lemon over the two plates, lightly apply sea salt and black pepper then drizzle with olive oil and set in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour before serving.