Blood orange and red onion salad. So simple to make, so surprisingly satisfying to taste. Basically, if you can hold a knife and slice, you can make this salad.
This blood orange and red onion salad in vibrant shades of orange and maroon just may be the easiest yet most elegant recipe you make all year. Basically, if you can slice, you can make this salad. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s a conversation-starting addition to any dinner party—and not just because of its appearance. One taste of the tartly sweet citrus and the sharp onion and you’ll understand. [Editor’s Note: We swoon to the beautiful color and muted sweetness of blood oranges, especially in contrast to the brilliant purple of the onion, but you can easily make this with navel or cara cara oranges in place of blood oranges.]–Angie Zoobkoff
How To Make This Salad Even More Special
We were more than a little surprised at just how satisfying this simple blood orange and red onion salad could be in the dead of winter. However, if you want to enliven it even more, you could add any of the following…
A handful of torn herbs, such as basil, cilantro, or mint
Some black olives
A drizzle of nice vinegar
A little crumbled goat cheese
Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad
- Three to four (6-ounce) blood oranges
- 1/2 to 1 small red onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Grab a sharp paring knife and slice off the ends of each orange. Place the orange, flat side down, on a cutting board. Using the knife, move downward along the orange to remove the peel and all the underlying bitter white pith from the blood oranges. Slice the oranges into circles about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick and arrange them on a serving platter.
- Using your paring knife or a handheld slicer, slice or shave the red onion as thinly as desired. [Editor’s Note: If you want to tone down the bite of the raw onions, place them in a dish of ice water and set aside for 30 minutes before draining and patting dry.]
- Scatter the red onion over the blood oranges. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This blood orange and red onion salad could be called a “no brainer” and would hold beautifully to serve on a buffet. Simple, rustic, and delicious. The salad was pretty and very flavorful. The blood oranges and the purple onions produced a colorful salad and the olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper just topped it all off. I’ll definitely be doing this again!
Part of our Christmas morning festivities includes a large platter of simple sliced citrus. This salad seems to be the later-in-the-day version of our citrus tradition—perfect to go with a holiday meal and providing the same uplifting oomph of citrus that can be so welcome in the darkness of the winter season. Even if blood oranges can’t be found, this would be a lovely salad with navel oranges as a fine substitute, though the nice bridging between the purple of the blood orange and the purple of the onion would then be lost. As it is, this salad is appealing and refreshing and will likely show up either on my holiday table or as a quick and easy something to spruce up a meal of leftovers in the days following Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Four servings is accurate, if minimal, although this could serve more if used like a garnish to perk up a table or a plate instead of as its own course. It could also easily be doubled. I had small oranges and a large red onion and I was a little afraid of using too much onion in proportion to the oranges. Fear not! This can take quite a bit of onion before reaching the tipping point. Nonetheless, I used only about 1/4 of the onion. I also didn’t use much salt. On that note, a dish of salty black olives could also nicely complement this simple and winning salad. You could also serve this blood orange and red onion salad atop some greenery (spinach? arugula? radicchio? red leaf lettuce?) and/or herbs to direct it toward a more specific cuisine, if desired. Basil or oregano come to mind right away. Parsley would also work, as could cilantro. Or scallions, very thinly sliced, especially the green part. You could also add additional vegetables (beets? carrots?). We served the salad at the beginning of a meal with warm ciabatta rolls and lots of butter. Instead of adding herbs to the salad, as noted above, one could also use an herby compound butter with the rolls to complement the salad.
Originally published February 23, 2017