I mentioned in the previous post that, as part of our farewell dinner, we enjoyed a glorious dessert of orange salad. The name for that salad is Shalada Bortukal. If you read my history of oranges (April 2, 2008), you’ll know that, a few centuries ago, the primary grower of sweet oranges in the Mediterranean region was Portugal, and that the country’s name came to identify sweet oranges. I don’t think it’s too hard to see Portugal in Bortukal—and, indeed, sweet oranges are the key to this recipe.
Surprisingly, for a dish that is so ambrosial, this is really easy to make. And I have never yet served this where someone didn’t (between ooohs and aaahs) comment that they would never have imagined these flavors being so good together. Enjoy.
(Moroccan Orange Salad)
4 navel oranges
2 Tbsp. rosewater
3 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Slice the oranges thinly and spread them on a platter (this can be done in stages, if you don’t have a large platter). Sprinkle rosewater over the oranges. Next, sprinkle the sugar over them. Finally, sprinkle the cinnamon over the oranges. Let chill for about 30 minutes. Toss lightly before serving. (If you want to make a presentation of this, chill oranges with just the sugar and rosewater, and then sprinkle on the cinnamon just before serving. You could also garnish it with a mint sprig.)
Note: Get really nice oranges. Bargain oranges sold in bulk are usually not as juicy and flavorful as the ones that are sold individually.
As for the rosewater, pretty much any Indian grocer will sell it, if you don’t have a place that caters to North African shoppers. It’s fairly common at the international stores, as well. Or you can find it on the Internet.
©2008 Cynthia Clampitt