I have a soft spot for Spanish culture, architecture, music, literature, cinema and …surprise, surprise…food! This recipe was inspired by the famous Ensalada Malaguena and by the arrival of these wonderful, big, juicy naval oranges to my local grocery store in Nairobi. You may feel like laughing but I assure you this is quite am event around here. Using the best quality olives and nice, firm oranges does make a difference in this recipe. It is a salad properly speaking, but due to the Serrano ham and to its pretty look you can very well serve it a first course as well.
3 naval oranges (or large blood oranges)
1 very large red onion, sliced on thick rings
20 good quality olives suck as Kalamata, pitted
6-8 slices Serrano ham (or prosciutto)
12 basil leaves (or mint leaves)
1 garlic clove crushed
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
black pepper and Sea salt to taste
Peel the oranges with a carving knife, slice them on 1cm thick slices and gently remove the seeds if any. For 4 servings you need 8 naval orange and 4 regular orange slices.
In a bowl combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of black pepper and sea salt. Add the oranges and the pitted olives to the bowl and refrigerate for 30 min allowing the flavors to blend.
Assemble the salad on a cutting board before transferring it to the plate.
Use the largest slices of naval orange as a base to each of the four individual servings. Place an onion ring over it, cover the onion with a piece of Serrano ham, and top it with a few olives and a basil or mint leaf.
Repeat the same exercise but this time cover with a slice of regular orange, top with a rolled piece of ham and pin it with a toothpick as see on the photo.
Place a few arugula leaves in a salad plate, carefully lift the orange salad with the blade of a large knife and place it over the arugula.
Make it ahead: All the ingredients can be preped earlier and refrigerated in tupperware until putting the salad together just before dinner.