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Orange Salad with Fresh Orange-Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette, Iced Onions and Cilantro
Orange Salad with Fresh Orange-Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette, Iced Onions and Cilantro Photo courtesy of Ellen Silverman

You got us: We’re definitely guilty of opening a bottle of premade salad dressing or jar of mass-produced tomato sauce instead of making our own from scratch. After reading Martha Holmberg’s instructive new cookbook, Modern Sauces, however, we’re changing our ways. Holmberg offers recipes for a bevy of savory and sweet sauces, then couples them with fool-proof dishes that taste even better beautifully sauced. We devoured this bright orange salad with smoked paprika dressing; it’s a simple, suitably elegant dish we’ll serve alongside grilled steaks or in lieu of a sweet dessert at our next dinner party.

Makes 4 to 6 servings (plus about 3/4 cup vinaigrette)

Orange Salad

⅛ small red onion, sliced paper-thin

3 juicy oranges (such as blood or Cara Cara)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


Fresh Orange-Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

½ teaspoon lightly packed finely grated orange zest

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

2 drops hot-pepper sauce, such as sriracha

Kosher salt

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Make the salad: In a small bowl filled with ice water, soak the onions for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the orange zest with the orange juice, sherry vinegar, paprika, sugar, hot-pepper sauce and ¼ teaspoon salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended. Season with additional salt to taste and set aside.

3. Working with one orange at a time, cut a slice off each end to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange on a flat end on a work surface. Using a sharp knife, slice away the peel, including all of the white pith, cutting from the top to the bottom and following the contour of the fruit. Turn the peeled orange on its side and cut crosswise into ¼-inch rounds. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

4. Re-whisk the vinaigrette and pour ½ cup into a wide, shallow bowl. (Reserve the remaining ¼ cup vinaigrette for another use.) Add the orange slices and toss gently to coat. Arrange the oranges on a serving plate, overlapping them slightly. Pour any extra vinaigrette and juices from the bowl into a small pitcher for serving on the side.

5. Drain the onion slices and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Scatter the onion over the oranges, then sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.

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