The city of Tangier – perched on the northwestern tip of Morocco – was declared an International Zone after World War I and was jointly ruled by nine different countries, all reluctant to relinquish control of this glamorous port. The winding alleyways of the old city became a haven for smugglers, agents, double agents, and movie stars. Hotel El Minzah was the place to see and be seen. Like the motley cast of characters who sipped cocktails on the patio of the hotel, this salad brings together strong players –sweet oranges, cool fennel and mint, salty olives – that result in an enticing blend.
El Minzah Orange Salad from Well Fed
Serves 6-8 | Prep 15 minutes
4-5 large seedless oranges (about 3 pounds)
1 fennel bulb (about 1 pound)
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup large black olives, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons ) 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
fennel fronds, minced, for garnish (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1. Use a sharp knife to peel the 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.
2. Remove the fronds from the fennel and reserve a few for garnish. Cut the ends off the fennel bulb, and slice it very thinly, crosswise. Add the fennel, onion, olives, and mint to the oranges. Gently combine with a rubber scraper.
3. In a small 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, adjust seasonings, then top with minced fennel fronds.
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