Ainsley Harriott's Charred Orange and Spiced Almond Salad

A fragrant and refreshing side dish, this Charred Orange and Spiced Almond Salad, as featured on ITV's Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook, was inspired by Ainsley Harriott's time in Seville.

Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook
A journey through the diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean region.
With recipes ranging from Moroccan tagines to Italian desserts.
All laid out in Ainsley's clear, accessible, and foolproof style.

Introduction

I love using oranges in a salad and I made this dish while visiting the stunning city of Seville, which is famous, of course, for its bitter Seville oranges. The spiced crunchy almonds are a wonderful contrast to the soft citrus and the salad makes a lovely light lunch or a side dish for chicken, duck or fish. This would also be great with some Serrano ham or Manchego cheese.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 large oranges
A handful of rocket
1 green chicory, leaves separated and washed
For the spiced almonds:
2 tsp olive oil
60g whole blanched almonds
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp chilli powder
A pinch of sea salt
2 tsp runny honey
For the dressing:
juice of ½ lemon
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To make the spiced almonds, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds, shaking the pan to coat the nuts in the oil and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices and salt and stir, then drizzle over the honey and mix well. Cook for a further 3–4 minutes until the almonds are golden and well coated in the spice mix. Remove from the heat, tip onto a sheet of baking parchment and leave to cool.

Top and tail the oranges and remove the peel and pith by running the knife from top to bottom, removing the sections of peel until you are left with a whole orange. Slice each orange horizontally into four discs, reserving any juices in a bowl, then pat the slices dry with kitchen paper. Squeeze the skins over a bowl to extract any last juices and set aside.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot, then add the orange slices and quickly sear on both sides until they begin to char. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Make the dressing in the bowl with the reserved orange juice, adding the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, thyme and seasoning. Whisk together until combined.

Drizzle the salad leaves with a little of the dressing and gently toss to coat. To serve, arrange the chicory leaves around a platter, place the rocket on top and then arrange over the charred orange slices. Roughly chop the spiced almonds and scatter over the salad, drizzle over a little more dressing and serve.

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