I love a salad that I can assemble and dress on a plate. This is a classic salad -- a bit of brine, some slivers of onion, and a little kick of chile -- with a few modern touches like blood oranges and piment d'espelette. Serve as the first course for a dinner party. Follow with roasted fish or grilled lamb. And let the wine flow. —Amanda Hesser
2 blood oranges
2 clementines or mandarins
About 1/4 small red onion
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons best quality olive oil
8 to 10 green olives, pitted and torn into quarters
Piment d'espelette (or other ground chile, like cayenne), to taste
Cut the peel and pith from the oranges and clementines, making sure to remove all of the outer membrane without losing too much of the flesh. Cut the oranges and clementines into 1/8-inch slices. Slice the red onion thinly enough that you can see through the slices; use a mandoline if needed. You will need about 8 slices.
Arrange the citrus in overlapping slices on each of four plates. Disperse the sliced onion on top. Sprinkle with the vinegar, 1 teaspoon per plate. Drizzle the olive oil over each plate, about 1/2 tablespoon per plate. Divide the olives among the plates. Sprinkle with piment d'espelette, a generous pinch per plate. Season each salad with salt. Admire all the colors, then serve!
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.