Thursday, June 26, 2014

El Minzah Orange Salad

El Minzah is the famed five star hotel in Tangier  frequented by famous poets, Hollywood actors, dignitaries and politicians since it opened it's doors in 1930.  It is still considered the most prestigious hotel in North Africa and I believe this salad is still being served to this day.  The combination of  sweet orange, cool mint, salty olives, crunchy & slightly sweet fennel feels like a party with Moroccan flavors in your mouth.  It is the perfect summer salad to complement any of your grill-tastic recipes.

So I digress a bit from Melissa Joulwan's recipe by adding a slaw of sweet kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage and radicchio from a pre-made mix I bought at Costco.  You can certainly make your own slaw but I love this particular Sweet Kale Salad mix.  It added a nice bite and crunch along with the fennel.

4 - 5 large seedless oranges
1 cup slaw mix
1 fennel bulb
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup large black olives, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 clove garlic minced
salt & black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fennel fronds, minced, for garnish


Use a sharp knife to peel oranges, removing all of the bitter white pulp and the membrane on the outside of the orange sections.  with your fingers, separate the sections and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl

Remove the fronds from the fennel and reserve some for garnish.  Cut the ends off the fennel bulb and slice it very thinly, crosswise or use a mandolin which is what I do.  Add the fennel, onions, olives, slaw mix, and mint to the oranges.  Gently combine with a rubber scraper

In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, coriander, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the oil in a slow drizzle, whisking continuously.  Pour the dressing over the oranges and toss gently to blend.  Let the flavors meld for about an hour before serving.  Taste and adjust seasonings, then top with minced fennel fronds

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