I whipped up this little beauty of a salad for my lunch yesterday and I had to hop on here and share! It was inspired by a salad that we eat at Christmas every year which features sliced oranges topped with olives, finished off with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. This usually goes out earlier in the evening but stays on the table all night for that moment you need some bright citrus to break up the flavors and feelings of the heavier parts of the Christmas meal. The briny olives compliment the sweet, tangy citrus so nicely, and I felt like bringing these flavors to a bed of leafy greens would make a perfect, healthy lunch before I went into the office for the afternoon.
This salad takes a few minutes to assemble, especially if you have to take the pits out of some olives. I used Catrovetrano olives because they are a house favorite (and I bought a giant jar of them over Christmas that I’m still happily munching through). Any olive will do here as long as it is an olive you would enjoy eating on it’s own (I tend to avoid canned black olives and the little cocktail olives for normal snacking, but if that’s what you like, go for it!). I went with one big, beautiful Cara Cara orange for my citrus because that is what I had on-hand today, but any orange of choice (blood orange, navel orange, even little mandarin slices) will work great!
Recipe down below, photo up top! This made enough for one big lunch salad, so feel free to scale up for a big dinner side salad to share or for multiple servings of a lunch salad.
Orange and Olive Salad
- 1 ½ cups salad greens
- 1 orange
- 15-20 olives, pits removed
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp flakey (Maldon) salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and dry your salad greens, as needed. Place them in a big pile at the bottom of a plate or bowl.
- Remove the very top and bottom of the orange (stem end and bottom end), and then cut in half or in thirds (across the equator, depending on size). Peel off the skin and separate the oranges into segments. Add the orange segments to the top of the lettuce.
- If your olives have pits, arrange them on a cutting board. Using the flat (side) of a knife (held in the same way you would to crush garlic), press firmly down on the olive until you feel it burst and the knife hits the pit. Remove the loosened olive meat from the pit, discard the pit. Add the olives to the top of the salad.
- Drizzle the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the salad with Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Grab a fork and enjoy!