You'll love this easy, bright and elegant Mediterranean orange salad! Navel oranges are given a lift with the addition of pomegranate seeds (arils), fresh mint, and a honeyed lime dressing.
A few tips make all the difference, so be sure to read on!
So many variations of orange salad exist in Mediterranean cuisine, but this recipe is the closest to one you would see in North Africa. Think places like Morocco, Tunisia, and my home country, Egypt.
This is one simple, bright, and elegant salad where sweet navel oranges get a lift with the addition of pomegranate arils (seeds), fresh mint and a few flavor makers. You can throw it together quickly for a special dinner or add it to your holiday table. I'll show you how below.
Simple Mediterranean Orange Salad
The stars of this salad are two bright and powerful ingredients: oranges and pomegranate arils (seeds). I add a generous handful of fresh mint--which acts as a great bed for the sliced oranges--and a few slices of red onions or shallots.
A sprinkle of warm spices, and a bright lime dressing with a touch of honey and orange blossom water (totally optional), give this salad a complex flavor that is both super refreshing and even more delicious!
Everyone likes fruit salad, but this orange salad is unique. I love that I can arrange it on a bright platter, so it's more of a " composed salad." It's an easy and sophisticated way to serve a fruit salad that isn't just "fruit tossed in a bowl."
Composed salads are salads that are intentionally arranged on a plate instead of tossed together. Arranging the ingredients not only helps the salad look visually appealing, while still making sure each bite has all the ingredients for that perfect balance of flavors.
For this particular salad, spending an extra minute or two arranging the ingredients on the plate is well worth the effort.
How to Make This Orange Salad: A Few Tips
This orange and pomegranate salad is easy to make, but a couple of simple steps and tips make a difference. Here is how:
Prepare the Dressing
This is super simple. In a small bowl or mason jar, combine the lime juice, olive oil, honey, and if you like, a bit of orange blossom water.
Orange blossom water is a completely optional ingredient here, but it's fragrant and can really bring an extra element of brightness here. Here is the brand I use (affiliate link).
Prepare the Oranges
For this salad, using sliced oranges not only looks so pretty, but it really helps with the texture of the salad.
To get those perfect medallions, instead of peeling the skin off with my hands, I use a small paring knife (affiliate link). Sometimes with really fresh oranges, peeling with hands can break apart the fruit inside. Then, I go around again and try to remove as much of the pith (the white spongy layer between the skin and the fruit). While the pith is edible and good for you, removing it makes for a more pleasant experience.
Prepare the Onions
Next, prepare the onions using my secret trick that will tone down some of its sharp flavor.
Slice the onions and let them rest in a bowl of ice cold water for about 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also soak them in orange juice or vinegar. Because this salad has only a few ingredients, using water to quickly "pickle" them will not alter the flavor of the orange salad. Marinating the onions beforehand works with any recipe you plan to use raw onions in. Honestly, it's a game changer.
Prepare the Pomegranate Arils
I know some are intimated by cutting a pomegranate and emptying of its seeds. It can be a messy process, and if you have to avoid it and use already packaged pomegranate seeds, that is fine.
Wondering, "how do I remove the seeds of a pomegranate?" Here is what you do: cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Hold the cut side in your palm over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to tap the peel of the fruit. The seeds will fall out on their own! You can store any extra seeds in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Assemble the Salad
Finally, plate the salad! To get that really gorgeous colorful presentation, start with a few fresh mints as a bed for the orange slices. Arrange the orange slices and onions. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, sweet paprika, and cinnamon. Now spread the pomegranate seeds on top.
Drizzle with the dressing, then add a few more fresh mint leaves.
Can I make this Orange Pomegranate Salad in Advance?
It's best to assemble this salad just a few minutes before serving. And as you saw, it's pretty simple!
But, if you want to do a little bit of prep work earlier in the day, or one night in advance, you can. Peel the oranges and slice them, but save them in the fridge in their own air-tight container. You can also prepare the pomegranate arils (seeds) and save them in their own container.
The dressing can also be made one night ahead and saved in it's own container. Give it a shake before drizzling over the salad.
What to Pair this Salad with?
This orange salad is super versitle. I love how festive and bright it is, you can easily add it as part of a big brunch buffet or next to anything from something meaty like roast lamb or lamb chops, to baked turkey breast, Souvlaki, or even salmon kabobs.Print
You'll love this easy and bright Mediterranean orange salad! Slices of sweet Navel oranges are given a lift with the addition of pomegranate seeds (arils), fresh mint, and a honey-lime dressing. A festive and light addition to any dinner!
Read the post above for a few important tips.
- 1 ½ oz thinly sliced red onions (about 1 cup)
- 25 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 6 Navel oranges, peeled, sliced into rounds
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch sweet paprika
- pinch ground cinnamon
- Seeds (arils) of 1 pomegranate
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, olive oil, honey and orange blossom water. Set aside.
- Place the sliced onions in a bowl of ice cold water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then remove the onions from the water and dry them completely.
- Prepare a serving platter. Sprinkle half the amount of chopped mint leaves on the platter, then arrange the orange slices and onions on top. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, sweet paprika, and cinnamon. Now spread the pomegranate seeds on top.
- Drizzle or spoon the dressing over the orange pomegranate salad (You can add as little or as much as you want of the dressing.)
- Finally top the salad with the remaining fresh mint leaves. Set aside for 5 minutes or so before serving.
- Cook's Make-Ahead Tips: This salad is best made and served fresh, but if you'd like to do some prep in advance you can. You can peel and slice the oranges 1 night ahead, be sure to save them in the fridge in their own tight-lid container. You can also prepare the pomegranate arils (seeds) and save them in the fridge in their own container. The dressing can also be prepared and saved in the fridge for one night. Give it a good shake before using. When ready, assemble the salad as instructed.
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- Category: Salad
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Orange Salad, Orange Pomegranate Salad, Pomegranate Salad
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2016 and has been recently updated with new information for readers' benefit. Enjoy!