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Italian Orange Salad for Christmas Eve

The simplest salad marks Christmas Eve for Italian families.

Sliced oranges drizzled with olive oil and showered with a grinding of fresh black pepper is all that’s needed to usher in the meal.

I recall (with chagrin) that when my mother served this to our family decades ago when I was a teenager, I was disdainful, and I actually remember calling it “oily oranges.” How she put up with that, I’ll never know. Sorry Mom.

Now, of course, I am older and wiser, and I understand that it is not only a traditional dish, but it is utterly delicious!

Italian Orange Salad on Shockingly Delicious. [1]Many decades ago, oranges were not easy to come by in the winter, so they were special. In fact, you might have gotten an orange in your stocking, because that represented a once-a-year, expensive treat. Now, of course, we take them for granted and expect them year-’round.

These days, I have been re-appreciating this salad, and making it with all the winter citrus that’s in season, along with some of my own additions – Kalamata olives and shaved red onion slices, which complement it nicely.

It’s a keeper, and a winter winner!

Italian Orange Salad for Christmas Eve

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Sweet oranges or tangerines, sharp onions, salty olives and zippy black pepper combine in a traditional Italian Orange Salad for Christmas Eve or any winter dinner.


  • 6 Jeju mandarins (or use any combination of oranges, blood oranges or tangerines)
  • 3 thinly shaved slices of red onion, cut into quarter moons
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • Olive oil
  • Grinding of fresh black pepper


  1. Peel and slice tangerines crosswise, and lay the slices overlapping slightly on a plate or platter. You get points for making it pretty! Strew red onion and olives halves over. Drizzle with olive oil and grind some fresh black pepper over all.
  2. You may prepare the salad several hours ahead of time, cover with Saran wrap and leave on the counter at room temperature until serving time.
  3. Serves 4.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

https://www.shockinglydelicious.com/italian-orange-salad-for-christmas-eve-and-sundaysupper/ [3]

Italian Orange Salad on ShockinglyDelicious.com

About Jeju Mandarins

Jeju mandarins are grown only on Jeju Island, south of the South Korea peninsula. They are known for their superb, sweet, juicy, low-acid taste, and they’re seedless and easy to peel. They’re worth seeking out in your produce department, distributed by Melissa’s Produce [4], which sent me samples to taste.

Jeju Mandarins from Melissa's Produce [5]

Sunday Supper

I brought my traditional Italian Orange Salad to our Sunday Supper potluck. We’re celebrating holidays, heritage and traditions, and the food that plays such a large role in our celebrations. Join us and try something new from these suggestions to add to your own holiday celebration!


Appetizers & Snacks


Main Dishes



Merry Christmas to everyone!