Recipe: chili-spiked citrus salad from Porzia’s Basilio Pesce
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
¼ red onion, finely diced
6 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tsp kosher salt
24 green olives, smashed and pitted
2 tsp to 2 tbsp chili peppers in oil, drained and roughly chopped
4 oranges, preferably 2 blood and 2 navel
2 ruby red grapefruits
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Cracked black pepper
½ cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley
½ cup lightly packed mint, torn
1. In a bowl, stir red onions with vinegar, sugar and salt. Cover and allow to infuse on the counter for 3 hours. Drain and stir in olives and chilies. Infuse for another hour.
2. Segment the clementines. Slice a piece from top and bottom of grapefruits, oranges and lemon. Cut off remaining peel and slice segments from membrane. Arrange fruit on a platter, spoon olive mixture overtop and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with parsley, pepper and mint.
Masellis, an Italian deli on the Danforth, carries fiery, floral Donato Macina preserved chili peppers, which are perfect for this dish. 906 Danforth Ave., 416-465-7901.
Basilio Pesce, the chef who made Biff’s a power destination, opened a more relaxed Parkdale restaurant last winter. In the open kitchen, he cooks the Italian food of his family’s matriarchs. The restaurant is named after his mother, and his grandmother used to serve this tart citrus salad between heavy courses at family dinners, including the Catholic Christmas Eve feast of seven fishes. He added hot chilies to complete the trifecta of sweet, sour and spicy.