In this Moroccan salad, the flavors of southern France are combined with North African influences. It tastes of acidity and a touch of sharpness against the saltiness of olives. This orange and tomato salad makes for a piquant starter and is delicious alongside grilled lamb or chicken.–Maria Zihammou
LC What Exactly Is A Moroccan Salad? Note
What exactly is a Moroccan salad? Good question. In theory, it’s any of many traditional meldings of ingredients common to North Africa. In actuality, though, it’s pretty much anything influenced by the inclusion of ingredients common in North African cuisine, including olives, oranges, cumin, and the like. This particular concoction surprised us, seeing as the season for tomatoes and oranges aren’t usually in alignment. And yet of all the Moroccan salad incarnations we’ve experienced, whether riddled with couscous or carrots or cilantro or lemon or any number of things, this is the one we return to time and again lately, both in our kitchens and in our minds. We think you’ll do the same.
For the orange and tomato salad
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 oranges preferably navel or another seedless variety
- 1 small red onion or 1/4 large red onion
- 10 to 12 best quality black olives or more to taste
For the vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prep the orange and tomato salad
- Slice the tomatoes into circles about 1/4 inch thick. Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, trimming as much white pith as possible from the underlying oranges. Slice the oranges into thin circles somewhere about 1/4 inch thick. Peel and slice the onion as thinly as possible.
Make the vinaigrette
- In a bowl, whisk together the herbs, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, until emulsified.
Assemble the orange and tomato salad
- Arrange the tomatoes, oranges, and onion on a platter or on individual plates, overlapping the slices slightly. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and scatter the olives over everything.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love the sweet and savory combination of North African flavors in this simple and colorful orange and tomato salad recipe. (And right in time for tomato season!) Slices of juicy heirloom tomatoes alongside sweet rounds of sliced navel orange seem like a strange combination, yes, but it works really well—especially when you add peppery slices of red onion, briny black olives, and a simple tarragon vinaigrette. I used navel oranges here, and yes, the red onion was a small one. I sliced the tomatoes and navel oranges about 1/4 inch thick. I served this Moroccan salad family-style on a large platter with fresh baby spinach leaves for a bit of extra color. I really enjoyed this orange and tomato salad and would like to try it next time with a bit of Dijon mustard added to the dressing for some extra tang.
You’d never believe that such few ingredients could produce such bright, bold flavor. I’m not event a big fan of tarragon but it actually added a nice flavor in this vinaigrette. The presentation was also very pretty and right in line with the season with bright red, orange, purple, and green. The olives gave the salad that extra bit of saltiness to top it off. The only thing is that I wish there was more! By the time I served it to 3 adults, the platter was clean!
I was so happy to see a recipe just looking for my vine ripe tomatoes! Mine weren’t large, more medium in size, so I used 5 tomatoes. I used a mandoline so everything was the exact same thickness. Part of the reason I resorted to the mandolin was because I was having trouble maintaining integrity slicing the peeled orange. I found it worked better to slice the oranges with the peel intact, and then I carefully removed the rind from each orange. The dressing was easy and, again, I was happy to utilize some favorite herbs—tarragon and parsley—from my garden. The only quality black olives in North Idaho are Kalamata, so that’s what I used. I would have preferred Niçoise, and next time I make this, that’s what I’ll use. I loved all these flavors and this salad was the perfect accompaniment to grilled salmon. Though it was tasty as-is, I cannot lie, I added some crumbled blue cheese (and it was fabulous).
This simple tomato and orange salad really hits the mark. It was very fast to assemble and could be plated ahead of time and drizzled with the vinaigrette at the last minute. I used navel oranges and sliced the tomatoes and oranges in slices 1/3 inch thick. We loved the sweet and tart flavors of the tomatoes and oranges together. I think next time basil could take the place of the tarragon and chives for the parsley. Almost any soft herb in the garden could work. My testers wanted plenty of olives, so I’ll add more next time. I felt the vinaigrette was a little sharp, so I added 2 teaspoons extra olive oil. This is the perfect salad for a picnic or alongside any grilled meat!
This was a refreshing take on a tomato salad. The acidity of the orange played nicely against the tomatoes, and the olives added a great briny contrast. Will make again and again all summer. I used 3 large tomatoes and 2 navel oranges and this filled a 14-inch platter, which seemed like a lot, but ultimately it was just the right amount for 4 people. I sliced the oranges 1/4 inch thick, but managed to get the tomatoes a little thinner. I think this will depend on how ripe everything is. When I made the dressing I followed the recipe exactly, and it seemed like a lot of dressing in the bowl, but once it was plated, it was the perfect amount. I used 1/2 a large red onion, which was plenty! I wasn’t sure why the olives were supposed to have pits in them, and since I had a very large jar of pitted olives in the fridge I used them. Much easier to eat!
This was a totally odd salad that my tasters seemed to like. Despite my preconceived notions that oranges and tomatoes wouldn’t taste good together, the combo worked. That said, I don’t think it’s a side I would ever crave, but it does make for an inexpensive and beautifully presented salad that carries a bit of mystique. Given that there are only a few ingredients, it should go without saying that the quality of the produce you choose will make or break the salad. I used navel oranges, tomatoes on the vine (Campari?), and some Italian oil-cured olives. It really would’ve helped to have some suggestions for the tomato and olive varieties. I was bringing mine to a party so it did sit for a while, which allowed the flavors to blend and mellow a bit. Beware spillage of all the accumulated juices.
Originally published July 22, 2015