Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad

Saturday 14 January 2012, 10.19am HKT

ALRIGHT, you lazy buggers, pay attention! Class is in session!

My life is one long emergency, so I try to be a couch potato whenever I can. But I’m also a glutton — ahem — I mean, foodie.

Let me introduce to you a side dish or snack from Venice that’s long on panache and snob appeal but short on effort and cash outlay.

(Despite my massive food intake, I happen to be rail-thin. Ladies, are you jealous yet?)

Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad


1 or 2 blood oranges (regular orange is also fine)
Black pepper (grounded)
Olive oil (any kind you like best)

Knife (for educated or snobby eaters)


Very little time involved: about 6 minutes to prepare half-dozen oranges.

Slice off ‘polar’ ends of the oranges first.

Now sit the orange on the flat end and slice off the skin from the sides. Make sure you remove all of the whitish outer membrane without losing too much of the flesh.

Cut orange into slices (thick or thin, depending on how you like it).

Sprinkle grounded black paper and thyme as much as you desire all over the oranges.

Then dribble olive oil as much as you desire all over.

N.B. Use black pepper. The greyish-looking pepper powder we normally use in salt-and-pepper shakers don’t work so well for taste.


Serving suggestions

Depending on your pig-glutton level, this is one serving.

Old-fashioned Venetians tend to serve this ‘unadorned’ version as a side dish to meats and fish every meal in addition to other salads.

It is also popular on its own as a snack between meals, served with red wine (or chilled white wine in summer) then followed up with black coffee.

This is an attractive snack to keep the kids happy and pre0ccupied. Works better than a dull “Have some fruit,” which only strikes a don’t-give-a-shite-about-you tone.

Nothing wakes a person up quicker than an orange.

Which is why there are no oranges available in undemocratic, totalitarian, human-rights-abusing regimes like North Korea your office.

(In the morning, it’s actually better to have an apple instead.)

Oranges done up Venetian style can be very addictive!

Once you have oranges this way, you won’t go back eating the old way.

Like my dish says, “Happy as a daisy.”

* * *

You could adorn the basic dish by adding clementines or mandarines, pitted olives, sliced red onions and piment d’espelette (or other ground chilli like cayenne) done up in the same way.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Images by me, except last one via Food52.

3 Responses to “Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    I seldom confront a plate with a fork if I can’t also have a knife. And they both stay in their proper hands: fork on the left and knife on the right. But I can’t abide mixing fruit and savory seasoning in the same dish, so I’m a secret member of the Trailer Park Trash Clan.


  2. Terrific idea i love to try it :)


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