This is one of those things that could be really good.
I mean this could have been good enough to make you weep.
But it wasn't.
This was an orange salad.
Perhaps the time for really good oranges is long gone. I wouldn't know, I'm a newly converted orange eater.
Whatever it was, this salad was BITTER and really, really acidic. Vinegar AND oranges? I just don't know.
Here's what I'd do next time, because I really believe that with a little creativity this salad could be salvaged:
1. Less hot pepperyness. Less chili fiesta in the mouth. Just tone it down a little. Let the oranges sing through.
2. Get some really scrumptious, wonderful oranges.
3. Use basil or mint or some other herb that is less overpowering that cilantro.
4. Use absolute, best quality vinegar and olive oil. I didn't and you could tell.
Here's the recipe, despite Amanda Hesser's raves about it in the New York Times we were unimpressed.
1980: Spicy Orange Salad, Moroccan Style
This recipe appeared in an article in The Times by Craig Claiborne.
3 large seedless oranges
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine or sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup chopped parsley
12 pitted black olives, preferably imported Greek or Italian.
1. Peel the oranges, paring away all the exterior white pulp. Cut each orange into 8 wedges. Cut each wedge into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Place the cayenne, paprika, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine. Add the oranges, parsley and olives. Toss gently to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 4.